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

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

The news from Ireland and the United States reminds us of Herod, of Pharaoh. What culture betrays its children?
The EditorsMay 26, 2018
A woman religious casts her ballot May 25 in Dublin as Ireland holds a referendum on its law on abortion. Voters went to the polls May 25 to decide whether to liberalize the country's abortion laws. (CNS photo/Alex Fraser, Reuters)
The repeal of Ireland's Eighth Amendment, which guarantees the right to life of the unborn, has passed with a nearly 2-1 margin.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos testifies at a House Committee on Education and the Workforce, Tuesday, May 22, 2018, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
The Secretary of Education stirred up controversy when she said it was up to schools to decide if an undocumented student should be reported to authorities.
J.D. Long-GarcíaMay 25, 2018
Thousands gathered in Dublin May 12 to say "Love Both" and "Vote No" to abortion on demand. They were protesting abortion on demand in the forthcoming referendum May 25. (CNS photo/John McElroy)
“Priests and bishops get verbal abuse by being told, ‘How can you speak for women? You don’t know what it’s like!’”
America StaffMay 25, 2018