Could Mary have refused,
when it was offered her,
left her fingers
open around the gift,
releasing the weight of it
from the palm of her hand?                       

Could she simply have turned
when the angel startled her,
and gone about folding the clothes,
sweeping dust from corners,
baking the daily bread?

Could she have brushed it aside,
arm upraised not in fear
but release—
a wave of good-bye,
a hand blocking merely the glare
of the morning sun,
not the radiance of angels
in her kitchen?