91st Letter to a Poet
Sun shines kindly on Mount Pleasant Cemetery.
Sixty-five degrees. You'd think it was autumn.
A hundred hours until my birthday, the one
that would've marked 30 years of legal drinking.
I read the letter where Teilhard de Chardin
urges patient trust in the slow work of God.
The Jesuit paleontologist strove to marry
the discoveries of science and the formulae
of faith. His books are famously difficult.
(And need it be said? I haven't read them!)
But yes, to be comfortable with the liminal,
the in-between time of not knowing what.
So, Tuesday morning, as if it were
the most natural thing in the world
for a cradle Catholic who until recently
had been a strident ecclesial partisan,
I asked Jennifer, an Episcopal priest,
if she'd consent to hear my confession.
She put her hand to her heart, so gently
(butterfly alighting on the bright
landing-pad of a lavish-petalled flower)
and smiled, and said, "Yes, Tom, I'd be honoured."
Experts in Catholic canon law might object.
They can all go sit on a cactus.
All my drive-through Saturday shrivings
in RC precincts have not helped me at all
to jettison self-focus, fear, despair.
I need to let my sister, my even-Christian,
into the guarded sorrows of my soul.
I will ask the Christ in Jennifer to bless me,
will tell my tale of woe and soul-blight,
surrender my mean doubts, my petty fears,
and trust in the embodiment of Grace.
Poetry by Thomas D
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Written on 2020-06-15 at 09:11
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