Thursday, June 3, 2010

Bread-Body, Wine-Blood

She walked, shoulders hunched,
like an upside-down spoon,
fragile, her short hair a helmet
of white, ancient.

She stopped to take her place in
the line moving slowly to the
wine and the bread.

She stepped forward, each
step an invisible burden, the
pain like a bag of rocks.

She carefully held the offered
square of bread, and carefully
dipped it in the cup.

She placed the stained square into
her mouth, hands trembling, and
smiled as the taste of thousands
of communions consumed her.

She turned and moved slowly to
her seat, each step measured
like a moment of life escaping,
captured in a sigh of exhaled breath.

She paused in the sunlight-filtered
aisle, eyes closed, calculating the
cost of going on.

She placed her arm on that of the
boy behind her, nephew? grandson?
friend’s child?

She followed his movement forward,
slowly pulling life from the touch
on his arm. Come mama he said.

I looked into her face as she passed,
and saw the eyes of a young
woman ravaged old by an
invaded body, a poisoned blood.

Photograph: Night Life by Nancy Rosback. Used with Permission.


Anonymous said...

this is

and thank you
for choosing
to post the photo

Louise Gallagher said...

Hauntingly beautiful.

and the photo is gorgeous.

H. Gillham said...

What prompted that poem?

I was moved by its truth -- "the taste of thousands of communions consumed her."

And its imagery -- "in the sunlight-filtered
aisle, eyes closed, calculating the
cost of going on."

What a nice morning treat for me to read ... earlier this morning, I had risen early, I thank God for yet another morning --- one of the thousands that I have had....

Not the same message as your poem, but a connection of sorts.


L.L. Barkat said...

Quiet murmur.

Maureen said...

So much feeling made this poem and also inhabits it.

Your imagery, too: "She walked. . .like an upside-down spoon", "stained square", "the taste of thousands of communions consumed". And the tenderness of mother and son. So much here.

S. Etole said...

stirred my heart ... in a huge way

Ted M. Gossard said...

Glynn, I like the imagery here. I have to say I identify with something of a mystery in all of life, in Holy Communion, as well as in growing old, approaching death. And really in everything. Life is so much more than biological. And your poem helps us remember that. Thanks.