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 10 months ago
All of life is a holy vocation, and the formation is challenging.  Thanks for a great poem!
Craig McKee
6 years 10 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

The latest from america

So what does it matter what a celibate woman thinks about contraception?
Helena BurnsJuly 20, 2018
Former US President Barack Obama gestures to the crowd, during an event in Kogelo, Kisumu, Kenya, Monday, July 16, 2018. (AP Photo Brian Inganga)
In Johannesburg, Obama gave what some commentators consider his most important speech since he vacated the Oval Office.
Anthony EganJuly 20, 2018
With his "Mass," Leonard Bernstein uses liturgy to give voice to political unease.
Kevin McCabeJuly 20, 2018
Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, retired archbishop of Washington, arrives for the Jan. 6 installation Mass of Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, N.J. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)
Women often “bring up the voice of those who are the most vulnerable in our society,” says Hans Zollner, S.J., who heads the Centre for Child Protection in Rome.