As children we grew numb with boredom
starting in the knees
Some would crumple in the airless vault
smothering the oxygen.
They were carted off quickly
no splintering the
What snagged us was the supple
bend of wings: gloria in
perpetual light shine upon them.
Oh those words
wore gold sashes,
swept in brocade down ballroom stairs.
As children we
drank unwatered wine.
At nine, card-carrying members of mystery:
mystical body. The communion of saints.
A larger scope than sixty-eight
droopy socks. No patronizing: we played a part
geography, heard a trumpet voluntary,
The Lord be with you. We
started at the top.
-- Kathy Coffey
I have more understanding than all my
-- Psalm 118:99
Promises were made:
You would be my wisdom,
lamp to my feet,
a light for my path.
I would have more
than all my teachers
Then why do you use
speak opaque wisdom
like the ancient Hebrews,
using only consonants?
Why do I see only
-- in the dark?
You cut deep.
To staunch the flow
of blood you
a styptic pencil.
You break me.
Like Van Gogh I
to remember who I am.
of earth on my casket
with that thud of
But to whom shall I go?
You have the words
-- Fr. Kilian McDonnell, OSB
View from the Cell
This wall of the county jail faces
East, like the
altar where once the boy
he was served Sundays, ceremonially dressed
cassock and cotta. Vested now in jail-
Issue jumpsuit, Day-Glo orange, he
The serving without ceremony of the mornings
Meal, one of the
daily two, the welcome
Mug of coffee. From the east, the sun
casts chessboard patterns
On the floor, where he is always in check.
window has no sill; if he leans
To see sun in the patch of tulips
corner of prison yard, he will
Catch them in bloom, like crystal
Holding red wine. Watching still in his
Solitary self-pity that
is at times repentance,
he is thinking, proudly: that the tulips
him garden, have been gardened well.
-- Nancy Westerfield
Where I work everyone
brags about his education.
and four of the Seven
And they talk about commas.
should there be a comma
at the end of the series.
The V.P. is For,
Finally I make a rule:
No talking about
within fifteen feet of my desk.
(This rule is ignored -- but
the graphic designer.)
One day I design an ad.
write the copy myself.
Nice apostrophes, says the V.P.
(Hes not kidding.)
Theyre only Pratt Institute
I say humbly.
He doesnt hear me.
theyre not really East Coast at all.
My apostrophes are from
James Grammar School
in Arlington Heights, Illinois.
-- Felicity Frisbie
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National Catholic Reporter, February 8,