There she sits, the boy who was not a boy;
No boy could have been as she. Her mother vowed
From deep in the heart beneath which she dwelled in peace,
Her sleep undisturbed by any touch. Her joy
At the birth turned close to woe: ‘Hath He allowed
My pledge to come to naught?’  Then came release
As certitude settled in. He does not slight
The vows of those who dwell beneath His Holy Light.

But what can be done about the ancient ways
Of the Holy House? And who will take her custody?
She has been offered; none can turn her back.
And so he takes her in. And so she stays
Within the closed mihrab, in pure simplicity;
No boy could have been as she. She does not lack
Of heart, or soul, or mind, or breath, or prayer,
Or sustenance, which comes to her as comes the air.

Thus Zachariah, finding her, exclaims,
‘Whence came you this?’ And she, astonished, says,
‘Do you not know? He gives to whom He wills
Without account,’ her words igniting flames
Of hope within his breast. And so he prays
For life drawn from his life, as life fulfils:
‘Lord, God, from whom came life where there was none,
Renew my life! Grant unto me a living son!’