Mary Did Not Love the World Enough by Amy Kinsman

Mary Did Not Love The World Enough

If you had sent me a sword,
I would have severed the heads of emperors
and hung them along the walls of Nazareth.
If you had sent me words,
I would have sat beneath the palms
and passed my judgement over each of them in turn.
If you had sent me a throne,
I would have whispered in the ears of kings
and fed each ragged beggar at their feet.

But you love us best of all upon our knees,
so I spread my thighs
and birthed him there onto the hay
between the cows,
their heads bowed with remembrance
of each calf that slipped, bloodied,
squalling, helpless,
from their bellies onto that same earth
where he first lay.

Do not think that my love for you was not
outstripped that day and each day since
in reckless abandonment of that first commandment.
Is this why
you take back that Son of God
as if he weren’t also Son of Mary
and I would not trade back their salvation
like pulling the nail from the writ on the gates of Heaven
with my own human hands?

You did not ask this of me
like you did not ask Isaac of Sarah.
It does not take a God
to know what our answers would have been.

Say Mary did not love the world enough.
I did not see you there at the foot of the cross
watching what was happening to our son
and listening to my prayers first to you,
then each and every demon by name
when they went unanswered.
Not even Lucifer had power to save him
but what I would have given
for a ram in the thicket that moment
he cried out for mercy.

If I could have slipped the sword
from the Roman’s belt
I would have rend their flesh.
If I could have summoned words
into my dry and screaming mouth
I would have called the wrath of Hell upon their heads.
If I could have sat at Pilate’s right hand
or by your seat in Heaven
I would have stayed this execution.

But you love us best of all upon our knees
and begging.

Amy Kinsman is a poet and playwright living in Sheffield, England. In her spare time, she is an editorial assistant at Three Drops From A Cauldron. Her work has previously appeared, or is forthcoming, in After The Pause, Glass Octopus, Pankhearst, Rust + Moth and Up The Staircase Quarterly. Find her online at


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