December Rose

My roses
have become rose
hips
she said.
Solid hips that carry
and roll
smile and
enjoy that west wind.
My mystery is blunter now
I’m resistant
to frost
I make good tea
she said
full of vitamin C
and the kick of autumn.

I remember
having petals.
They dripped heavy
with the salty desire
of passers-by
flung my way
longing to dissolve
to sweet.

We roses fear laying
that burden down
not knowing
not knowing
that our petals are
just
prom dress celebrations
of a fruit
that is yet to come.

My roses,
she said,
have become
rose
hips.
And that’s
where the
sweetness is.

Creative Commons License
This work by Miriam Axel-Lute is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Pro-Choice Poem for Christmas

(dedicated to the clinic escorts and those they defend)

This is a pro-choice poem
It’s not what you think
This is a Christmas poem
and it’s for Mary
and it’s about choice

because Mary chose Christmas
like Christ chose Easter
on that night when Gabriel arrived
as angels always arrive
no warning
no way to describe later if
it was light or dark
warm or cool
without or within
that night when Gabriel
came to give her
the news
that she was favored among women
that there was a role to be filled
that she was chosen

That night Mary was troubled
and she knew
favor found with God
might be lost again
with a little effort
making your
day to day life simpler
and she thought of Joseph
and pregnancy
and angry crowds
and felt vague premonitions
slithering up from her elbows

and she chose Christmas.
Chose the labor, and the fear
Chose the donkey ride and
the manger straw up her butt
and the impossible holiness
of that night, that star, that baby,
and her, the butterfly wings
beating and groaning at the
winds of time.

This is a Christmas poem
for all those
who expose their lives to history
to ridicule,
loneliness,
or full inns,
to jealous kings,
vindictive judges,
or hateful thugs,
who have taken on something
that their world called immoral
and made it holy
because their angels
were convincing enough
because the vision danced
brightly enough

This is a Christmas poem
for all those
who have said
“Here I am. Let it be with me
according to your word.”
knowing that the word
is long term
and they are
short term
knowing that words do get
garbled in translation
but the Word is so important.

This is a pro-choice Christmas poem
for all those who
have chosen
once, or every day, to say
“Here I am.”

Creative Commons License
This work by Miriam Axel-Lute is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Planning to use this poem in a rally, church service, conference, etc.? Thank you. If you get a chance, I’d love to hear about it. Drop me a line: miriam (at) mjoy (dot) org.

Also check out my book, Souls Like Mockingbirds, where this poem appears.