Annunciation – a poem by Russell Rowland


You’re nothing and nobody, naturally—
downcast, inconspicuous as befits
your station, flying under the radar—

then, no particular day, there’s a flutter,
a flash, an advent.  Because of you,
the Big Man’s chair will get tipped over
with the Big Man himself in it.

You can say “No way,” or “Let it be,”
or both.  But you will be remembered
always, as the head of what followed.

I never thought to start a line of kind
children, change the mood in a hall
by standing up to speak quietly,
help carry a stretcher out of the woods.

Then, a hawk’s shadow passed over
as I walked in the Ossipee highlands.
I thought, “Gabriel?”  And I called,

“Not happening, thank you very much.”
The winged shadow circled back.

Seven-time Pushcart Prize nominee Russell Rowland writes from New Hampshire’s Lakes Region, where he has judged high-school Poetry Out Loud competitions.  His work appears in Except for Love: New England Poets Inspired by Donald Hall (Encircle Publications), and “Covid Spring, Vol. 2” (Hobblebush Books). His latest poetry book, Wooden Nutmegs, is available from Encircle Publications.

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