Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Dedicated to my friend John J. Deeney, SJ

(photo by Fr. Deeney's niece Theresa Curtis Roney )


St. Ignatius pray for us,
St. Francis Xavier pray for us,
said the old Jesuit and kissing
the altar, retraced his steps
into the sacristy,

returning in mufti, to
snuff candles, retrieve the
missal, lock up the chalice.
He is all things, this wrinkled
gnome, star performer, supporting

cast, stage manager and crew.
Next show is tomorrow 8 A.M.
Curtain down, stage dark,
he leaves by the side exit,
and standing on the stone step

caps his hairless wizened head.
I am by myself with the smell
of Murphy's Soap and beeswax,
surrounded by glass saints --
Louis, Aloysius, Joan of Arc.

Christ Himself heads the pack
pointing at his own blazing heart.
I linger amid symmetry, rows of
pews, tiers of candles, lines
of stationary chandeliers, and

I am alone, odd, irregular,
misshapen. Gargoyles, I suddenly
remember, are always on the
outside. Yet here I sit,
and listen for the choir to sing,

waiting for the angel to roll away
the stone, to tell me my myrrh
and spices aren't needed,
to bid me to leave the
tomb and look elsewhere.

Tracy Alig Dowling

1 comment:

  1. Hi! I am very happy you thought enough of my poem to post it on your website. However, I was rather surprised that I hadn't been contacted first.

    Would like to hear from you.