. Annunciation It’s not really an angel but a voice, Less heard than sensed, an urgent undertone That murmurs in the place where I’m alone And all my fears with longing there alloys. It whispers that I have to make a choice: To let the world go scrambling on its own Or bring the spirit into flesh and bone And give all flesh a reason to rejoice. And yes, that choice was made some time ago, Yet still is made more often than I know. And every time all history starts anew All grace, all mercy, and I’m new ensouled By mystery sweet: the mystery ever true That somewhere in me lives my own “Behold...” . . Jeffrey Essmann is an essayist and poet living in New York. His poetry has appeared in numerous magazines and literary journals, among them Agape Review, America Magazine, Dappled Things, the St. Austin Review, U.S. Catholic, Grand Little Things, Heart of Flesh Literary Journal, and various venues of the Benedictine monastery with which he is an oblate. He is editor of the Catholic Poetry Room page on the Integrated Catholic Life website.