Mary, did you worry?

maryBy Lydia Wylie-Kellermann

I wrote this poem two years ago when I was pregnant with Isaac. These days in the wake of events in Ferguson, I still hold onto these worries and hopes of what it means to raise a white man today.

Mary, did you worry your son would grow up
to idealize the military and violence around him?
What did you sing in his ear?
What toys did you give him?
That taught him to put away the sword
and to give his life before shedding the blood of another.

Mary, did you worry that your son would follow society’s rules of oppressing women?
Who did you surround him with?
What history did you teach him?
That helped him to invite women to the table, receive their gifts,
and acknowledge their friendship and leadership.

Mary, did you worry that your son would desire wealth and push down the poor?
What reality lay outside your front door?
What God did you pray to?
That instilled in him a hunger for justice, a love for the poor,
and an understanding that it is good and right to give away all that we have and follow God.

This Advent, I walk beside you.
I carry a child, a son, within my womb.
And I worry.
I worry about this world he will be born into.
One that encourages him towards violence, arrogance, power, and wealth.
I look to you as a mother who raised a son to cry out against injustice,
to pause and heal those around him, and to build the beloved community.
Walk beside me. Teach me.

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