Shriven

Amanda Glass

No sound falls on my ears, no vision
soothes my eyes. My tongue is without speech,
my vocal cords are cut. I am deaf,
blind, mute, wretched, beyond the reach
of myself. I am six feet deep
in cold mud, sealed into my grave. [Read more…]

Little Hours

K.K. Adams

Lying heavy in my bed
I hear the murmured
whimper of a son
lauding his hunger
in the darkness
and, opening one eye,
see the hour—3 a.m.

I will arise,
hoisting my heaviness
out of the warmth
of my bed,
to keep this vigil,
to be a comforter,
to invite another in.

The Edge of the Sea

Cristina Montes

The scent from the bay
carries something like memories
from the edge of the sea
where the sun goes
at the end of the day.

I inhale the breeze
As I watch the sun retreat
into the edge of the sea,

and I wonder what’s there,
and why the scents
from the edge of the sea
seem to carry memories,

and whether the ships
moored along the harbor
ever get there.

The Vigil

Anne Babson

Could I report you stood sentry at dawn,
waiting for the cemetery sun to take
grief and reopen it with morning
glories on vines around you? This bony

Rabbi who had awakened you was sleeping
forever. His mother had devoured her lip
while you dressed His wounds so hurriedly,
absurdly—He could not even feel the [Read more…]

An Answer

J.B. Toner

Well, answer me, for God’s love, Christ, speak up—
    Explain Your perfect Paradise to me,
    Where Clare and Francis sup (quite possibly)
With those who poison your once-sacred cup:
With rapists, killers, child-molesting priests,
    Where Stalin (maybe, through Your holy grace)
    Meets tortured gulag inmates face to face
And sings hosannahs at the endless feast!
  Yes, You forgive us, Lord, I know that part—
    But we’re just human, Jesus, You forget,
      So how can we forgive what we have done?
  — Oh, wait. . .  Your human mother’s human heart
    Was pierced by me, and each of us, and yet
      She loves me still, the killer of her Son.

Mingled with Silver

Robert J. O’Brien, III

The red of her hair is mingled with silver,
And her I’ll not share, no more than a delver
Of jewels in ground will talk in the air
Of the treasure he’s found, when others are there.
[Read more…]