Little lower

God forbid that I should meet
an angel face to face: the many eyes
would terrify, the beating wings
might stop my heart; how would
I hear their, “Do not fear,”
let alone what may follow?

Send me instead the dragonfly, fierce
but fragile, anointing the surface
of the water with love; yet who am I to curate
the messengers of God, although
you have made me wonderfully and
fearfully a little lower than the angels?

My eyes are short-sighted, my words fumbled,
my wings, the costume of childhood nativities,
were only ever clip-ons; God forbid
that I should meet an angel face to face,
let alone courageously proclaim to
the other, “Do not be afraid.”

Michaelmas, 2021
See: Isaiah 6, Ezekiel 10, Hebrews 2, Psalm 8, Psalm 139, etc

About Rosalind C Hughes

Rosalind C Hughes is a priest and author living near the shores of Lake Erie. After growing up in England and Wales, and living briefly in Singapore, she is now settled in Ohio. She serves an Episcopal church just outside Cleveland. Rosalind is the author of A Family Like Mine: Biblical Stories of Love, Loss, and Longing , and Whom Shall I Fear? Urgent Questions for Christians in an Age of Violence, both from Upper Room Books. She loves the lake, misses the ocean, and is finally coming to terms with snow.
This entry was posted in holy days, poetry, prayer, Whom Shall I Fear? and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Little lower

  1. I love, love, love this poem. So well done.

  2. P.S. You might want to reread the 2nd line.

  3. Pastor Ken says:

    I love the final image, of us also ministering to the angels as they minister to us.

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