Vowed to this life

We face each other across the choir
in the night cathedral of our married lives
summoned by an infant’s hungry wail
to chant the hours after Compline.

Hush, little baby, don’t say a word….

Advertisement

We recite the old antiphonies
that keep at bay the terrors of the dark:
“I checked. You’re safe. I’m sure.
There are no monsters under the bed.”

We rise for the Nocturnes, the watches
of the night, observe the mercury rising,
proffer cool ablutions. “...a hundred and four.
Yes, certainly, we can bring him in.”

Sent for the doctor / The doctor said….

Through the night the porch light burns in vigil.
Past midnight we sleep lightly, half waiting
for a ring that cracks the stillness of the hour:
“This is Officer Olsen. Are you the parent....”

We are caught up lifelong in the liturgy
of the hours, called to Matins by the ringing
in the dark, groping for the phone.
“Mom, the baby won’t stop crying.”

Hush, little baby, don’t say a word….

When the birds begin their chorus
and the sun lights up the east
we’re back to bed for consolation
and then we rise for Lauds.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
Lisa Weber
6 years 4 months ago
All of life is a holy vocation, and the formation is challenging.  Thanks for a great poem!
Craig McKee
6 years 4 months ago
Sure beats the hell out of a dried up group of old celibates warbling Davidian love songs in the darkness of their monastic insularity...for centuries held out to us mere laypeople as the EPITOME of a "religious" life.

Advertisement

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

Supporters of opposition presidential candidate Salvador Nasralla clash with military police in the Policarpo Paz Garcia neighborhood of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, on Jan. 20, 2018. Following a disputed election marred by irregularities, incumbent President Juan Orlando Hernandez was declared the victor and will be inaugurated on Jan. 27. The opposition does not recognize Hernandez's victory and are protesting against the result. (AP Photo/Fernando Antonio)
“You will see many protests during his mandate...because Honduras hasn’t fixed its age-old problems of inequality, exclusion, poor educational and health system, corruption and impunity.”
Melissa VidaJanuary 23, 2018
I want to be able to serve the state better. I want to be able to serve more of the state.
Nathan SchneiderJanuary 23, 2018
Formed in 2011, The Oh Hellos' Christianity is one of their foundational inspirations, evident in lines like "the only God I should have loved."
Colleen DulleJanuary 23, 2018
People gather at a June 14 candlelight vigil in Manila, Philippines, in memory of the victims of the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla. Philippine Catholic bishops called for vigilance against bullying, ostracism and harassment of gay people in the wake of the incident in which police said a lone gunman killed 49 people early June 12 at the club. (CNS photo/Mark R. Cristino, EPA)
“We are losing three generations of people, and we need to hear why,” said Bishop Mark O’Connell.
Michael J. O’LoughlinJanuary 23, 2018