Catholic Distance University

The Same

Leah Acosta
It is the same.
The twisted strands . . . 
	of barbed wire, flesh now torn
	of plaited curls, freshly shorn
	of woven briars, crown of thorn.
The bruised reed . . . 
	freely blowing, sown in the distant sod
	trampled underfoot, by pris'ners heavy trod
	plucked, unbroken in the Son of God. [Read more...]

Holy Matrimony (Anniversary in Colonial Williamsburg)

Roger Mitchell

Watch the cooper resume
his old manufacture,
how the hollowing knife
will carve perfect volume
from imperfect nature.
So we two, man and wife,
embraced like oaken staves,
these golden rings our hoops,
this common life our cask,
have joined our tapered selves. [Read more...]


 I. The Cornucopia

Emerging cold and desperate, his whiting breath
Trails behind him like the old ship’s own signature
Disgorged in blunt belchings of smoke from its belly
Through a single squat stack piping up the trying pots.
The wit-starved whaler tells his hunger-angry crew:
Sing a tune from groggy memory; desires supply the words.
There’s the sea and he scans it like a line of poetry [Read more...]

This Is Only a Test

Roger Mitchell
If the TV stares back in blank silence
without even so much as a message
from our sponsors, do not take it askance.
Black static flies like a flag over this age.
Salute and report for duty, be distracted,
for to be distracted is the noblest aim
(so long as GDP is not impacted). [Read more...]


Michael Schorsch
my church is sending me
to Mexico

it was autumn of course
a deviled egg

and the three of us shared
some rye bread

the river was already frozen

Ina, I
have resolved to become a religious man

Per Annum

Joseph O’Brien

Time takes miles from life, years rolling out, tolling mpg’s,
From a perpetually restless motor. The past, awkward and unwieldy,
Is a highway map folded in confusion’s haste.
It goes too far back for me to follow.
You become an absence, the might of a subjunctive ghost,
Expected as a radio station
And the time and place its fading signal finally dies. [Read more...]

The Short Life of a Bird

Amy Kopecky

Yesterday I saw a baby bird. I was sweaty and hot because I just got out of gym class and we had played my favorite game—dodgeball. I’m the best in the third grade! Except for Brian. Brian’s even better than I am and pegs me in the head every time. The teacher never gets mad at him, even though head hits are illegal.

Gym is the one thing at school that I’m good at. Everyday I hear, “Conner, you could be getting A’s in all your classes if only you’d stop talking!” I don’t know why teachers don’t want me to talk. On TV kids always talk in class and the teacher never notices. Actually, teachers are a lot dumber on TV. [Read more...]


Amanda Glass

Do you know Slim the Cowboy, the Hero of the West?
He found a rattler by the sofa, bravely beat it up.
He saved his friend the sheriff when the local gang got rough,
Then drank his campfire coffee from his pewter loving-cup.
That’s Slim, in his bandana and fleece vest.

Did you see Slim the Cowboy as he galloped into town?
He left his mustang Star tied in the stable-yard out back
(That stable looks suspiciously like my green baker’s rack),
Then sat down at the bar and had a sliced-banana snack.
That’s Slim, in small snow-boots of blue and brown. [Read more...]

What He Heard

C.M. Schott

Dear God,

Bryan says he doesn’t believe in you anymore. I think he’s just trying to be tough. Please don’t be angry with him. I still believe in you. Amen.


Dear God,

This is Leanne. Well, I guess you knew that. Uh, I haven’t talked to you in awhile. I guess you knew that. Look, this is how it is: I really, really need this job. If you help me get it, I’ll do anything. I’ll even go to church again. I’ll quit smoking. I’ll quit drink—Well, you get the idea. Look, I just need this job. Please, God. Uh, thanks. Amen. [Read more...]

Still to See

Abigail Swift
I didn’t notice
the trees hard-etching the empty November sky
as vividly last year.
My eyes were elsewhere,
and my body a year less tired,
less worn, and yet less stripped
of the weight that gathers 
in those long blind years
when we feel most wise. [Read more...]