Undoer of Knots

Enveloped in clouds
of drapery, the Virgin
perches between maimed

angels—pinions curved
like parentheses. Cherubim
polish scapular


feathers. A crescent
cradles her sandaled feet.
The tabernacled

multiverse: her realm,
her reign. Seraphs surround her
shoulders. With each thought,

a winged face alights.
Though the Virgin stands still, she’s
in constant motion.

Her robe sways. Legions
of tutelary saints comb
plumes. Seraphic fists

bloom with anguish. Strand
by strand, they hand them to her.
She slips open pain’s

ribbons, webs, nooses.
Her eyes tilt into hands’ work:
bouquets of knots.

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


The latest from america

Light streams into St. Gabriel’s Passionist Parish in Toronto. (Photo courtesy of Larkin Architect Limited)
The daily light show at St. Gabriel's in Toronto is not just aesthetically moving, writes Dean Dettloff. It is part of a church design that reminds us of human dependence on the earth.
Dean DettloffAugust 23, 2019
“The Church is a family of families,” Pope Francis writes in “Amoris Laetitia.”
Kerry WeberAugust 23, 2019
Our commitment to God is expressed through living out the gospel, but also in your fidelity to prayer. Day in and day out. “Showing up and shutting up,” as my friend likes to say about daily prayer.
James Martin, S.J.August 23, 2019
In this Aug. 20, 2019 drone photo released by the Corpo de Bombeiros de Mato Grosso, brush fires burn in Guaranta do Norte municipality, Mato Grosso state, Brazil. (Corpo de Bombeiros de Mato Grosso via AP)
A record number of wildfires and the rapid deforestation of the Amazon are prompting Latin American bishops to plead for international action, writes America’s correspondent in Brazil, Eduardo Campos Lima.
Eduardo Campos LimaAugust 23, 2019