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Love Rondeau

October 21, 2011

by Mary Peterson Johnson

Vow: “With my body I thee worship.” —Say
These ancient words again: Then come and play
At Eve and Adam. Thirty five years now
Have passed since first we groped and wondered how
Those lovely pieces fit—and found a way.

Familiarity will not dismay.
Let your gentle muscled fingers stray
Through dark and sacred caves you’ve come to know.

“With my body I thee worship.”

Our bellies round, what hair we have is gray,
One heart repaired, two breasts that had their day
When babies suckled. Now the sap is slow
To rise sometimes. But patiently we’ll grow
Our love to ecstasy; then let us pray

“With my body I thee worship.”


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Mary Peterson Johnson is an Episcopal priest, wife, and mother who has recently found time to join a poets’ circle. After a quarter century of writing and preaching sermons, she appreciates the discipline of communicating in some of the older poetic forms.

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  1. steve
    October 22, 2011 at 6:42 am

    this is so sensitive and well crafted, a joyful take on the unfolding stages of lives shared. beautiful that you addressed this theme, perfectly revealing the connection of body and spirit

    • Mary Johnson
      October 27, 2011 at 9:52 am

      Thanks, Steve. Seeing this poem “go public” has made me feel strangely vulnerable. It’s always struck me as somewhat ludicrous that after all these years my “Adam” and I still have so much fun–and that playfulness is such a significant part of our expression of a love that is big and holy.

  2. Patricia Aylward
    October 27, 2011 at 9:24 am

    I have to congradulate you Mary on learning how to successfully play at Adam and Eve and then on putting it into poem so beautifully. Patricia

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