Vox Populi

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Jericho Brown: Nativity

I was Mary once. 

Somebody big as a beginning

Gave me trouble

I was too young to carry, so I ran

Off with a man who claimed not

To care. Each year,

Come trouble’s birthday,

I think of every gift people get

They don’t use. Oh, and I

Pray. Lord, let even me

And what the saints say is sin within

My blood, which certainly shall see

Death—see to it I mean—

Let that sting

Last and be transfigured.


From Mother Mary Comes to Me: A Popculture Poetry Anthology (Madville, 2020). Poem included in Vox Populi by permission of Jericho Brown.

Jericho Brown is author of the The Tradition (Copper Canyon 2019), for which he won the Pulitzer Prize and Paterson Poetry Prize. Brown’s first book, Please (New Issues 2008), won the American Book Award. His second book, The New Testament (Copper Canyon 2014), won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award. His poems have appeared in The Bennington Review, Buzzfeed, Fence, jubilat, The New Republic, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, TIME magazine, and several volumes of The Best American Poetry. He is the director of the Creative Writing Program and a professor at Emory University.

Jericho Brown

2 comments on “Jericho Brown: Nativity

  1. Billy Clem
    December 25, 2021

    Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Magnificent

    Liked by 2 people

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