Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. Luke 1:42
I said it for my husband’s sake,
explaining why, when I saw Mary, the jug
fell from my hand and rolling, rolling,
struck the doorframe and broke.
Blessed, yes. Even the name “Mary”
rolls off the tongue like the start of a prayer.
Zacharias kisses my swollen breasts
nightly. But no one remembers my name.
It was not the babe leaping exactly, but
a tightening, a gnawing in my gut.
Why did I bless you, who’ll bear the son
my son will die for? Even then I saw it:
Jesus’ head, the blood crown—messiah’s fate;
head of John, my John, like a cabbage on a plate.
Heather Foster lives on a 144-acre farm in Tennessee with her husband, kids, and Ozzy the heavy metal rooster. She writes in the back half of a welding shop and listens to Dwight Yoakam. She is currently completing her poetry thesis in the MFA program at Murray State University. Her poetry and fiction is featured or forthcoming in PANK, Monkeybicycle, Anderbo, Cutthroat, and Country Dog Review, among others.