Advent – The Third Candle: Joy, Mary’s Candle (Poem)

“But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart.” – Luke 2:19

You wouldn’t stop
moving, pushed against
my ribs, and I pushed
back. We exchanged
our first conversation,
just my skin between
your hand and mine.
We spoke our first
nursery rhyme, sang
our first hymn. I breathe
every memory—not
of visitors or gifts but
what happened before,

after, in between. You
were hungry. I moved you
to my breast. You slept
on my chest, your head
beneath my chin,
every part of you new.
I never knew you better,
touched your toes and eyes
like you were ever mine,
your breath milk-sour,
hovering like incense
in the air.

Published by Sarah M. Wells

Sarah M. Wells is the author of The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Gospels to Help Kids and Parents Love God and Love Others (2022), American Honey: A Field Guide to Resisting Temptation (2021), Between the Heron and the Moss (2020), The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Bible to Help Kids and Parents Engage and Love Scripture (2018), Pruning Burning Bushes (2012), and a chapbook of poems, Acquiesce, winner of the 2008 Starting Gate Award through Finishing Line Press (2009). Sarah's work has been honored with four Pushcart Prize nominations, and her essays have appeared in the notable essays list in the Best American Essays 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018. Sarah is the recipient of a 2018 Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council. She resides in Ashland, Ohio with her husband and three children.

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