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On the Road

We are always somewhere
on the road to Emmaus,
heads bowed against the sting
of wind-whipped sand.
Concerned with making miles
before the end of day
we do not always hear
the summons sent to us.
What does it mean to realize
resurrection from the dead?
The answer is never
all that clear and the road
makes so many twists and turns
through Gaza, Guatemala,
Colombia, Rwanda, Israel and Sudan.
All we really know is that
we must follow where it leads
and only stop to make repairs
along the way
until we meet once again
in Galilee.

-- Clarence. C. Kean
Portsmouth, N.H.

October in Emmitsburg

Sun backlights the gold trees.
Suddenly they jump up,
out of the dark
at the end of daylight saving time.
Moon rides the sky,
hovering over the mountain.

It’s inner trickery
to love the fall.

-- Sr. Anne Higgins, DC
Emmitsburg, Md.

To Whirl or not to Whirl

Shivering like a whirlabout
in a light wind,
she cowers in the cold corridor,
in double hospital gowns,
one secured in back,
the other in front,
contemplating passersby,
who don’t see her,
talk while they walk.
Not watching their feet.
Not heeding their power.

Oh ye of easy gait,
she chides,
be conscious,
give praise to your gastrocnemii,
sing hosannas to your knees,
acclaim your rolling hips,
applaud your ankles,
clever joints
that link your feet and legs.
Shout to the Lord in gratitude
because you can arise and walk,
click your heels,
and whirl about.

-- Margery Frisbie
Arlington Heights, Ill.


The old farmhouse waits,
with lilacs
and iris blooming,
for the grievers to arrive --

The mothers, the brothers,
the sisters, the fathers,
the children -- the large,
aching body of humanity --

the train of black and
blue travelers,
from Tennessee
and Rome, Italy.

The cobwebs are swept,
the dishes are done,
the beds are made,
the curtains drawn --

The sun is shining,
the grass is long --
uncut, and ugly-beautiful,
with yellow dandelions.

of light
and dark.

-- Julie Geiger
Everest, Kan.

2002 in Poetry

2001 in Poetry

2000 in Poetry

1999 in Poetry

Poems should be previously unpublished and limited to about 50 lines and preferably typed. Please send poems to NCR POETRY, 115 E. Armour Blvd., Kansas City MO 64111-1203. Or via e-mail to poetry@natcath.org or fax (816) 968-2280. Please include your street address, city, state, zip and daytime telephone number. NCR offers a small payment for poems we publish, so please include your Social Security number.

National Catholic Reporter, November 15, 2002