|Saint Francis On A Dark Day
One can tell a bird by its feathers.
Air dark as an oiled flute
a brown wood room with a flame burning
in the library on a sombre day.
We put things to our own use:
on a dais
on a ruin-colored noon.
Eyes incandescent. Conversation
weaving back & forth between him & me like two at a shuttle:
The cloth above our shimmering, shivering
bluegray. Does he compose canticles at a right angle to all others?
I got married in worsted.
Illness often a goad to spirituality
The capstone of boyhood-
girlhood for me or was I really a boy?
My twelfth summer.
Icarian, I flew too near the sun & bore a shoulder-scar.
Young St Francis in his youth
longed for lustre, glory
all which he later despised.
Both he and I had a dream
only possible in the Middle Ages:
Sapphires, rubies, caskets, a library in jewel colors, illuminated manuscripts
Then the metallic black of crows' wings
large recurring glance
A lung-clash frail boy with illness of the lungs
a strong girl
affliction of the central nervous system.
Here on earth life is torture.
He went toward lepers
whose faces were an open sore
& kissed them.
When I was twelve
folk stopped mother to say
have her eat
off the roots
off the ground
bathe her in dirty dishwater:
that was down
A Christian Science Practitioner
took me under her wing
(for bucks.) Said Today's the day you'll have your demonstration.
an imaginative girl
I worked myself into a frenzy focusing on walking again.
people stopping me wheeling up the glassy pavement
Don't' you want an umbrella?
What vivid stockings.:
Flashy as a tart I can stop traffic with them.
Struggling down a bank ramp
called out, I have my surgery on the 22nd.
I flung over my shoulder
like confetti at a wedding. Only I'd use birdseed.
fluttering from their prison bars to his hand.
who stole all the clothing.
all the wit I can
knowing good poets do not borrow
yet arrive home
to more crybabies;
My Avon catalogue was stolen.
I have a splitting headache from the perfume.
Lucky enough to have perfume light
bathe a town
I close the door my wheels & gloves dripping like wet feathers
to the bath. Tears.
The story is no childish fable
to the simple.
John of Gaunt's mistress' was Kathryn Swynford.
was the lord
after a cocky
in which his charms, midsize were winning
but his eyes
As for me,
I too harbored
an unearthly joy.
Do I truly believe I am Emily
in puritan gray?
But how can I say
about what's holy
without tainting it?
I love those
who read me
yet still are hungry.
I would not turn
(did I not pray during treatments
being ambulanced from hospital to hospital
on a gurney
candle after candle
heart-surgery after heart-surgery?)
Time for a nap:
lie on a scaffold like Michelangelo
under the ceiling.
In this single dark room with a flame burning
library with speckled books like fawns
on a dark day-Be with me.