She Said Yeah

“She Said Yeah”

by Kathleen Norris

The land lies open: summer fallow, hayfield, pasture. Folds of cloud mirror buttes knife-edged in shadow. One monk smears honey on his toast, another peels an orange.

A bell rings three times, as the Angelus begins, bringing to mind Gabriel and Mary. “She said yeah,” the Rolling Stones sing from a car on the interstate, “She said Yeah.” And the bells pick it up, many bells now, saying it to Metchtild, the barn cat, pregnant again; to Ephrem’s bluebirds down the draw, to the grazing cattle and the monks (virgins, some of them) eating silently before the sexy tongue of a hibiscus blossom at their refectory window. “She said yeah.” And then the angel left her.

from Little Girls in Church, by Kathleen Norris, 1995

I love how this poem mixes what is happening in a song on the radio with what is happening happening in the monestery, in the land around, and connecting it to the ancient story where Mary gets the visit from the angel. I can imagine the laughter as that realization came: hearing the Rolling Stones sing “She said yeah” and thinking about Mary, who actually said, “let it be with me according to your word.” She said yeah.

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