The National Catholic Review

The birds of the hands:
feathery fingers, arms
arched in parentheses.
Breathing in rhythm,
a forest of branches,
a pod of dolphins,
steel-spined camels:
“we can be anything.”

The body a playground:
swings, loops, slides
winged postures like stars
yoga dance as of language
freed from stodgy syntax.

Breath crests; wave
spills its liquid silver.
Toes sculpt commas,
punctuate the sentence’s
coiled energy, verb-driven
to the quiet pool of rest,
curled in balls like children.
Stillness hushes
eloquence: sweet period. 

Kathy Coffey is the author of Women of Mercy (Orbis Books). Last summer she taught writing at Ring Lake Ranch, an ecumenical retreat center in Wyoming.

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