INDEX FINGER DIPPED IN WINE
Prayer and visions be yours Saint Lidwina,
on this your feast day, the 14th of April.
When your skates go out from under you
on the ice, your body no longer able to hold you
over all that slips and falls, you became one
for the disease never-before-named. Your name
gives suffering a new word. The fall,
the broken rib, the triggering complications.
Patron Saint of Ice Skaters and Multiple Sclerosis.
Shedding skin, body parts, and bones.
Sweet perfume from intestines in a vase.
One sore from head to foot from the age of 15.
38 years of suffering--Christ's three days on the cross
drawn out past the length of his life.
Patron Saint of Chronic Sufferers.
"When the rose bush blooms it will all be over."
Inspiration for Thomas a Kempis' Little Garden of Roses.
What a book. Leo XIII canonizes you.
You, so good to visitors in your little room.
Beginning to understand.
Your life as a prayer to God.
Suffering pilgrims know God will listen to Lidwina.
Your special love for Jesus in the Eucharist.
Living on Holy Communion for years at a time.
Fasting in the mean time.
Offer the pain to Jesus. Give it to him.
Reminding us, those of us in good health,
living in plenitude, in abundance,
to thank God as often as we can.
Your life, Lidwina, full and complete.
Driving one like me. God bless.
14 April 2011
FRESH LENTIL SOUP IN THE ENGLISH TUREEN
--for Peggy Grimes
"I want you to take this home
with you when you go." She wraps
the blue tureen in newspaper
as we talk. She's starting
to give things away
and she's grateful
that her son's friends
have become her friends.
Karen puts the cotton-woven
cloth from Michoacan
on the kitchen table
where the tureen sits,
a roadside chapel calling
us to beauty as we walk
through the kitchen
for cracker or cookie.
The delicate ladle
is a bell calling us to make soup,
to take it all in, sop it up,
wanting bread, promising restoration.
13 April 2011
LINES FOR DALE MILLER
We crossed paths over 40 years
talking God and Schools,
equally flummoxed by both.
Practicalities of his vision
confirm what his family knows.
He helped send teachers
into the homes of every family,
to find out what might make
things better for kids.
In the pew he asked any question
that kept his God authorized,
large, and free to be God of all.
The dog he loved to sit with--
ask his family about that dog.
9 April 2011
BETWEEN THE SEASONS OF THE BODY
Water completes itself in rain
Water on the move
One of the core movements
Contraction and release out of the mountains
Jimmy Huega on skis
Jimmy Huega and his great can do
Jimmy Huega knocking his way through slalom poles
Can-do-disease-wracked body birthing hope
11 April 2011
Moistened finger touching Mom's dry lips