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The Virgin Monologue

Stained glass detail from the Dominican church of St Vincent Ferrer in New York, showing Jesus in a manger surrounded by Mary and Joseph.

“‘God did it’ isn’t an explanation,” said Joseph.
He got no account for the baby’s chromosomes,
No description of the mechanism that
Transmuted the divine shadow into royal blood.

“‘The devil made me do it’ would have sounded better to me,” said Joseph,
Though it never did him any good when he said it to his old girlfriends.

It was a mystery to him,
What moved him to listen for the rhyme
And puzzle for the reason
That Mary gave him the news in the manner that she did:

A mystery that put him at peace.
There was something in the way she held his hand
That no medical journal article could correlate;
Something in the way she gazed into his eyes
That eluded the grasp of genomic research.

“I don’t ask you to believe what I am saying,” she said,
“I don’t ask you to take my word for it.
I just ask you to love, as if.

Love me as if I were yours,
Love this baby as if he were yours,
As I love you as if you were mine.”

Love "as if” makes every child divine
Love "as if" fits all in David’s line
Love "as if" this love was meant for you
Love "as if" the Christmas tale is true.

About the Author

Jim Burklo

Rev. Jim Burklo is the Associate Dean of Religious Life at the University of Southern California. An ordained United Church of Christ pastor, he is the author of four published books: OPEN CHRISTIANITY, BIRDLIKE AND BARNLESS, HITCH-HIKING TO ALASKA: THE WAY OF SOULFUL SERVICE, a 2013 novel about...

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