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)