The Peacock Pin

for E.B.

Roman catacombs are filled with paintings of that bird,
symbol of Christ; their feathers shed, regrown.
Down in the dark, in hidden places where air meets root—
the peacock struts a bold resurrection.

Advertisement

These days, I've been wearing the peacock pin you gave me years ago.
Its sharp point reminds how your body has suffered,
how our family's body will bleed when you go.
Yes, you should know how it will be between you and us.
When you leave us, we'll work to raise our tremolos in song—
to transform knee-sore anguish into prayer.
This, because we know your feather-shaped soul will jubilate,
as it joins the great wing of saints.
But—there will be a fastening.
I say it again. I shout it. I swear it.
We pin you to us.
Do you hear?
Even as you go, and I mean really travel well,
We pin you to us.
We pin your beauty,
we pin your sorrowful and glorious mysteries,
We pin you
to the unfinished saints you leave behind.

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

Advertisement
More: Poems / Saints / Prayer

The latest from america

In cities across the country, local activists marched in support of a progressive agenda centered on economic justice, racial justice and immigrant rights.
Brandon SanchezJanuary 20, 2019
Pope Francis has suppressed the Ecclesia Dei Commission, a significant decision with consequences for the Holy See’s relations with the priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X.
Gerard O’ConnellJanuary 19, 2019
Photo: IMDB
A new Netflix miniseries brings out the story’s aspects of adventure and conflict, with occasionally pulse-pounding results.
Rob Weinert-KendtJanuary 19, 2019
Protestors march to support a U.N. anti-corruption commission in Guatemala City on Jan. 6. Photo by Jackie McVicar.
“What they are doing not only puts Guatemala at risk but the entire region. Bit by bit, for more than a year, they have been trying to divide us. The elections are at risk. We are six months away.”
Jackie McVicarJanuary 18, 2019