Lourdes, 1955

(Bouts-rimes – after Seamus Heaney)

The details of where they stayed, the places
Of pilgrimage, petition, the wet touch
Of Lourdes soaking to her skin, the hutch
Where they waited out the rain, these mysteries
Still possible, still unknown—sixty years ago.
The cancer in her breast felt hard as stone.
Outside the shrine, the fields were full of grain,
And he wrote this diary so their sons would know.

Advertisement

On the long trip home they stopped in Glanmore
Where no miracles are known. Farmers raise
Sheep white as light, and the old men, like chanters,
Talk them through the shearing, talking to appease.
They stood for a while on the open ground,
The sheep, like silent clouds, gathering round.

Farmers raise/ Sheep white as light, and the old men, like chanters,/ Talk them through the shearing, talking to appease.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement
More: Poems / Virgin Mary

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

 Pope Francis and Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski stand outside the presidential palace in Lima, Peru, Jan.19.(CNS photo//Mariana Bazo, Reuters)
“The degradation of the environment...cannot be separated from the moral degradation of our communities.”
Gerard O’ConnellJanuary 20, 2018
The U.S. bishops had an unusually busy year issuing positive and negative statements about the new president, but some hoped for more decisive action against his policies.
Michael J. O’LoughlinJanuary 19, 2018
Transgender patients “need to know they are welcome and they will not be looked down upon” if they come to Catholic institutions seeking treatment, says Sister Carol Keehan.
Kevin ClarkeJanuary 19, 2018
Francis is the first pope to come to the Amazon region, and he insisted that his first event and major speech of his visit to Peru should be to this place.
Gerard O’ConnellJanuary 19, 2018