On Gaudete Sunday – the third week in Advent when we are invited to rejoice (“gaudete” in Latin) – we think about Mary and her Magnificat and the scandal of teenage motherhood and we light a pink candle and I think about this gem of a poem by James Wright called “Trouble”:
Leering across Pearl Street,
Crum Anderson yipped:
I see your sister
Been rid bareback.
She swallow a watermelon?
Fred Gordon! Fred Gordon! Fred Gordon!”
Wayya mean? She can get fat, can’t she?”
Fat? Willow and lonesome Roberta, running
Alone down Pearl Street in the rain the last time
I ever saw her, smiling a smile
Crum Anderson will never know,
Wondering at her body.
Sixteen years, and
All that time she thought she was nothing
But skin and bones.