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Celebrating Poetry

The poem for the month of November is "Sister Speaks With God" . . . . 

            Sister Speaks with God


Sister says that she spoke with God

Who spoke to her in whitewater flood,

Words in a torrent, God’s holy voice

Came to sister in the course of a dream.


That answer was long overdue:

Years of prayer and desperation,

Entreaties carefully crafted, aimed

In careful angle toward the beige baked sky,

Launched like messages in bottles

That float slow vulnerable

And then turn back, return to shore,

Captive to the laughing tide.


Resolute sister prayed and waited,

Allowed her words to float

Until they broke, at last,

Beyond the waves and swells

That, on other days,

Would have pushed them back

Toward the long beach of her consciousness.


Clearly, God could not pretend

That sister’s words could not be heard

Or had failed to echo within the space

That separates the holy from the flawed;

Her words, in fact, resounded

Within the holy sanctum.


God listened to her prayer

(Simple, plaintive supplication),

And, this time, answered her

In perfect words that fell to earth;

But sister had retreated,

Found refuge in a thicket:

A vestibule that she believed

Was far beyond harm’s reach;

She lay tangled peaceful in the weeds,

Fell asleep and wouldn’t wake up,

Supine beneath the senile trees;

Branches out like outstretched arms

Held vigil over her.


As the sky rolled by,

God’s words fell loud like rain

Between the twisted fingers

Of those ancient branches;

Sister heard what she had waited for

And opened her eyes:

Myriad holy words in piles

Lay strewn upon the ground;

She picked them up

And wore those words upon her head,

A crown of twigs and red edged leaves.

"Sister Speaks With God" first appeared in The Banyan Review (issue 10, Summer, 2022)

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