I’m composing a cycle of poems based on the mysteries of the Holy Rosary. Here’s the poem for today’s Solemnity…


A long time she’d been fading. He noticed
how upright and still she’d sit in her chair,
gazing for silent hours through the latticed
window into the late afternoon air.

She ate almost nothing, spoke even less.
He feared her mind and soul were wandering,
but she seemed alert, listening to voices
he could not hear, and always pondering

the visitations and the strange events.
Why was she chosen to participate
in the confusion, fear and violence?
How did providence and her will relate

to conceive a joy that would pierce her heart?
He saw the pale, fragile skin of her hands—
the faint pulse of the delicate veins
and her clear eyes, watching waiting to depart.

Then she rose, nodded and put out the light.
She pulled her shawl around her, crossed the room
and lay down — arms crossed, to sleep for the night-
ready at last to be carried home.