Only by the Grace of the Holy Mother

Only By the Grace


Only by the Grace of the Holy Mother

Dear Mother Mary,
I am desperate, and willing
to beg and plead and negotiate
with promises I probably won’t be able to keep.

I would love to write a poem “Only by the Grace of the Holy Mother”
about the miraculous healing-event-extrication.

I guess what I’m saying is, I won’t write it
unless you give me the miracle I’m asking for.

That sounds quite terrible of me, doesn’t it.
Very childish. Well, so be it. I am your child,
and I’m worn out by years of disappointment,
of hope and dashed hope.
I don’t know how many more knockdowns I can take.
Maybe this is the last one.
Or maybe there are hundreds more.

It’s not like I’m living the high life.
Most days, I dwell in the small village
of my home and my imagination
with a small and humble footprint, if any at all.
In setbacks like this one, I feel that footprint

I can see I’m getting nowhere with you.

What’s this? A falling leaf?
You want me to follow this leaf to the ground?
To be surprised when it lands at my very feet?
To make a leaf rubbing with the pencil and paper
I just happen to have?

OK, I’ll make the leaf rubbing.

There. I made it.

Looks like that’s the miracle.

And that this is the poem I wanted to write,
Only by the Grace of the Holy Mother.

Better to write this poem
from a beaten down place
than from one of exhilaration.
Better to write from a place of want
than a place of luxury.
Better to write from despair than glee.

What could be more of a miracle
than to say with surrender and peace
that the Holy Mother sent me a leaf
and it changed my day?


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