We see so little, stayed on surfaces,
We calculate the outsides of all things,
Preoccupied with our own purposes
We miss the shimmer of the angels’ wings.
They coruscate around us in their joy
A swirl of wheels and eyes and wings unfurled;
They guard the good we purpose to destroy,
A hidden blaze of glory in God’s world.
But on this day a young girl stopped to see
With open eyes and heart.  She heard the voice –
The promise of his glory yet to be
As time stood still for her to make a choice.
Gabriel knelt and not a feather stirred.
The Word himself was waiting on her word

By Malcolm Guite

Henry Ossawa Tanner, The Annunciation (1898, Philadelphia Museum)