Our Lady of Westminster

Marian obedience, the jewelry of God, has adorned
     the gracious necks of many women,
          hearts rejoicing in God their Savior.
                 Fiat mihi.

Margaret Wilson, tied to a stake,
     struggled and drowned,
     filled with water,
           yet full of grace.
Marie Durant—behold this handmaiden of the Lord—
      spent 38 years in a forsaken tower by the sea,
      rather than say . . . she could not bring
          herself to say, j’abjure.

They did not die in purple robes,
     or lie on a bier surrounded by glorious music,
          polyphonic praise,
     while crimson cardinals glided softly by,
     followed in respectful silence by beautiful mistresses,
          quite pious in their way.

These women were not taken bodily into heaven,
     although that promise does lie coiled, taut,
     still, to Abraham and his seed, forever.

Anne Askew confounded her judges,
     and the proud were scattered
          in the imagination of their hearts.
“I am not come hither to deny my Lord and Master,”
     she said, and went to flames.

And the one who promised us the seed of the woman
      pulls down the mighty from their papal thrones
           and the rich He sends empty away.

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