Wednesday, December 26, 2007

"Feast of St. Stephen, 1983" (oh my, an old poem!)

I had completely forgotten until a few minutes ago that I had written this. Fortunately I still had it in a file somewhere.

This won't make much sense unless you know both the passage from Acts about the martyrdom of Stephen and the movie "Silkwood" -- which, as you may have figured out, a friend and I saw on the feast of St. Stephen that year. After going to Walden Pond for a walk and having supper.

Feast of St. Stephen, 1983

Around the pond
we walked in layers of scarves and down
You grinning blue-eyed beneath the auburn hat
wiped a tear from your left eye
I drew the purple wool around my face
squinting from sun and cold
A lone white bird glided low, back to its companions
flocked in the center
We stooped and saw bursts of snow and dry blown leaves
clinging to the frozen surface
A bracing day it was
full of the colors of early friendship.

we gave thanks for bread and wine
and split pea soup
An entire hour
The words are gone now
--only warmth remains
strains of Dylan and Aretha
and the feeling of home
visions of feasts to come
and the cat playing with jackets, eyeing the stuffed kangaroo
on the chair between us.

From bright day gentle words warm haze of wine mischievous glances
to cold street dark theater mute Oklahoma colors harsh
hard lives
*******those who listened to Stephen's words
*******were stung at the heart
*******and ground their teeth in anger
and Karen crying out as they scrubbed her poor body
with gloved hands, the salt water
blistering her skin
*******the onlookers were shouting aloud
*******holding their hands over their ears
Amazing Grace she sang
*******holding their hands over their ears
We too
are caught by the hidden demons, I thought
--you stared ahead
and I clutched the fur hat
in my lap--
threatened infiltrated trapped
by plutonium and sin
at unacceptable levels
*******and he saw the sky open and God in glory
We walked out stunned into the alley.

You drove off too soon
leaving us with only half
of the questions and half the comfort
the day hanging unfinished between us
but sealed with tenderness

Still we search for hope
aching and grateful to be alive
Time is short
we relinquish easy clarity
and choose instead the road
in which grace infinite hides, waiting.

(c) Jane Redmont


Grandmère Mimi said...

Jane, that is lovely. I'm glad you found it. Thanks for posting it.

Mr. Natural said...
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