Beatrice of Nazareth 1200-1268

in memoriam, Roger De Ganck, O.C.S.O.
Vickie Cimprich

1. The worker bee

Christ smells nectar
in the south wind of divine grace
and flies to Beatrice at Florival.

2. Sleep

comes to Beatrice at once
on wood or stone pillows.
The firmest, coldest floor
that undergirds iridium,
is measure of her dreaming’s weight.

3. The novice habit

The sisters are agreed
that Beatrice will have the veil,
if she’ll lie on the softer straw
spread by obedience.

4. Skin

Urushiol or nettles, caught
between the cloister and south field
at Florival, adhere, until
through her tatters and her scabs,
she smells like Job.

5. Honey

The worker’s mouth parts move,
and gorge contracts. Grace
exudes into the wax hexagons
of Beatrice’s observance.