Unweaving the Veil She, a tamarisk tree, still has russet bark, a sapling barely capable of shade. Yet she knows the verses her mother has spoken over her, teaching the moral way to handle seed. Seed is precious, Anne says. Generation a dangerous affair, requiring the utmost care, safeguarded in veiled ritual. These expectations clothe the young Nazarene, tight Tanak threads that have woven her world. Then the angel came. Maria Cosway and Joos Van Cleve paint Gabriel gesturing with one hand to the sky, the other one clasping a staff. But that’s not what she sees. The messenger of God unweaves, gently reaching for the cloak that has contained her since birth. Gabriel teases patterns apart, tight grids unraveling. She’s now a newborn, unswaddled, limbs flailing in fibril mess. A universe crashes, planets and stars scatter like shot marbles. Favor? How can this be? Under the weight of divine shade, she bends down to see pearls at her feet, her cambium curving in a new direction.
Melanie Weldon-Soiset’s poetry has appeared in Geez, Vita Poetica, and Bearings Online. A 2021 New York Encounter poetry contest finalist, Melanie is a contemplative prayer leader, #ChurchToo spiritual abuse survivor, and former pastor for foreigners in Shanghai. Feel free to sign up for her poetry and prayer newsletter at melanieweldonsoiset.com.