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(Sonnet for my Descendants)

In you, my blood will flow through unborn years
and dreams that danced down all my days
will shimmer in yours; salt of my tears
your lips will taste. In many ways
I will be with you. Sparks from my fire
your lives will set ablaze; from me, the root,
what astral-blossomed boughs may yet aspire,
what ancient flavor hide in future fruit?

So shall I live, some part of me survive
in other minds, our kinship to proclaim.
Seeds of my visioning will someday thrive --
new music to old runes. The very Name
that in my heart now jubilantly sings
will lift your souls upon transcendent wings.

-- Sr. Marion Storjohann, SS.CC.
Fall River, Mass.

Sr. Storjohann entered religious life when she became a widow. She has four children, 11 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Bishop’s Bread

Her mother’s recipe
for Bishop’s Bread
called for black walnuts
and more sugar
than she was used to
putting into any treat.

But the need
had grown ever since she heard
her daughter’s amazement
at the transformation of hands
over her mixing bowl.
“Mom, my hands turned into your hands.
It was unreal.”

After sixty year of fast,
the Bishop’s Bread was feast.
Jesus had it right
about the sacramentality of memory.

And the sacramentality of bread.

Every cell of her body
tasted the joy of reunion,
brought her mother
as close as hands.

-- Margery Frisbie
Arlington Heights, Ill.

In The Light Of My Father’s Shadow

Standing at the altar,
held and upheld by pieces of hearts
that have fashioned my own,
voice strong -- words clear, controlled, concise.
“He was so proud,” they all said,
and so he should have been --
after all,
I lived his life, the life he always wanted but ...

That’s all over now.
My life is mine -- or is it? even now? --
a middle-aged man whose life has lost its former familiarity,
its predictability --

I walk unsteady,
looking for the meaning of my life.
Why am I here?
Where am I going?
What do YOU want?
Will I ever grow up?

The response comes:
What do you want?

It’s not supposed to be like this --
a little boy lost --
but a constant, barely perceptible whisper within
me says,
“Walk through this wasteland.”
Perhaps, someday, this wilderness will reveal its
buried, deep within,
waiting to be received.

I watch the coffin make its descent --
his shadow gone;
only his sadness remains
in me
his only son
his greatest blessing
his dream now my only reality.

-- Fr. Dan Rocheleau
Sarnia, Ontario


The day was opened --
exploding light cracked the tomb
and death was vanquished

My Diamond

One fragile dewdrop
holds dazzling sunlight captive
for my eyes only.

-- Bonnie Noël Bukolt

National Catholic Reporter, May 14, 1999