Saturday, November 12, 2011

Concessions of Grace

The barefoot nuns
considered unmarriageable
by their wealthy families
laughed in the garden
as they tended particular myrtles
and their exotic flowers
that would dry into cloves

Tonight the chapel master
was returning from Italy
with new music for them to sing

Elsewhere, the territorial spirits
were taking dominion over
the steadfast but ever-changing moon

To them it is all a texture of sounds
They stand resolutely in front
of the gates of paradise stuck open
with the grit of ages

Conversing with the fates
what they do not have
is visible everywhere

The seductions of certainty
Red-twigged dogwoods
Mr. Saltmarsh and Mr. Squadron
build a particle accelerator
out of a kitchen chair
a clothes rack
a pie pan

Let the bear decide
The nuns pick oranges to preserve
for the children on their Saint’s Day

Their bruised hands push cloves
into the fragrant flesh
one by one