‘Mary Speaks’ by Madeleine L’Engle

O you who bear the pain of the whole earth,

I bore you.

O you whose tears give human tears their worth,

I laughed with you.

You, who, when your hem is touched, give power,

I nourished you.

Who turn the day to night in this dark hour,

light comes from you.

O you who hold the world in your embrace,

I carried you.

Whose arms encircled the world with your grace,

I once held you.

O you who laughed and ate and walked the shore,

I played with you.

And I, who with all others, you died for,

now I hold you.


May I be faithful to this final test:

In this last time I hold my child, my son,

his body close enfolded to my breast,

the holder held: the bearer borne.

Mourning to joy: darkness to morn.

Open, my arms: your work is done.