Annunciation Ongoing

It’s not Jesus but Mary they fight over,
my children lifting her wooden, blue-robed self
from the nativity and losing her all over the house.
We find her in the pocket of small pants,
piled with towels in the bathroom,
wedged beneath the refrigerator door,
a sainted, favored doorstop. It has become our habit
to search for her, sending our eyes
and hands throughout the house
until we find her again, she’s found,
she’s found. I imagine she receives the news
with shock each time—that the hidden life
we interrupt is not really her life,
her body tagged imperceptibly
like a starling once owned and loved,
then ringed around the ankle
and released into the wild, where it believes
itself free, belonging, the same
as all the other birds.

Chelsea Wagenaar

Chelsea Wagenaar

Chelsea Wagenaar is the author of two collections of poetry, most recently The Spinning Place, winner of the 2018 Michael Waters Prize. Her first collection, Mercy Spurs the Bone, was selected by Philip Levine to win the 2013 Philip Levine Prize. She holds degrees from the University of Virginia and the University of North Texas, and currently teaches in Indiana. Recent work appears or is forthcoming in The Cincinnati Review and The Massachusetts Review.
Chelsea Wagenaar

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Author: Chelsea Wagenaar

Chelsea Wagenaar is the author of two collections of poetry, most recently The Spinning Place, winner of the 2018 Michael Waters Prize. Her first collection, Mercy Spurs the Bone, was selected by Philip Levine to win the 2013 Philip Levine Prize. She holds degrees from the University of Virginia and the University of North Texas, and currently teaches in Indiana. Recent work appears or is forthcoming in The Cincinnati Review and The Massachusetts Review.