That he smelled like eternity

22 Dec

What Mary Knew

That he was beautiful,

love’s most holy writ.

That he was the world in small,

and she loved it.


That he had undone death.

That he would be her joy.

That he would grow more beautiful

as he became a boy.


That he was grace in human form

and paradise to hold.

That he smelled like eternity.

That he would not grow old.


That he was heaven’s gift,

dressed in flesh and baby clothes.

That he was wholly beautiful.

What every mother knows.

Angela Alaimo O’Donnell is a professor of English and associate director of the Curran Center for American Studies at Fordham University in New York City. Janet McKenzie, an artist in Vermont, is working on a new project called “African-American Women Celebrated.” © America Magazine  


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