Falling

It is no matter that you were carrying the heirloom platter
and five silver forks for cheesecake later on.

It is of little concern your cigarette took the opportunity
to burn its brown face into your acrid rug.

On a clear morning where the dawn sun
   will slash the straight line of ocean,
you may or may not see the green flash on the horizon.
You may not see it.
So much hangs upon
the quality of your attention.

So much depends upon
the multiple mind to remain faithful to the waves
of gleaming silverware, the dancing cigarette:
too much for the brain to absorb,
   absent the pleasures of dopamine.

Fear, that night crawler,
whose descent into your shoes while you sleep,
whose precise leap from an overhead branch,
whose starring season in the Garden story
takes down reason,
breaks down communication nerve to muscle
snakes down through your darkest treasures
   to a common vault of shame.

O God, come to my assistance.
O Lord, make haste to help me.

R DOUGHERTY
4 years 11 months ago
As one having been diagnosed with Parkinson's about a year ago the poem sharpened my awareness of my own expereince and allowed me to own it more courageously. At the same time, it has opened me to a new expression of prayer.
Thank you, Jim, for continueing to share yourself so generously with other.

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

A dry fountains is seen in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on July 24. The Vatican says it is shutting off all its fountains, including those in St. Peter's Square, because of Italy's drought. (Alessandro Di Meo/ANSA via AP)
Meteorologists say spring 2017 was Italy's third-driest in some 60 years. The drought has put Rome at risk for drastic water rationing, a measure being considered later this week by authorities.
APJuly 24, 2017
The parents of Charlie Gard dropped their legal bid Monday to send him to the United States for an experimental treatment after new medical tests showed that the window of opportunity to help him had closed.
Art by Andrew Zbihlyj
Having so often petitioned a gracious God for the blessing of mercy, how could I deny it to others?
Mark SingelJuly 24, 2017
“To the Bone,” which recently premiered on Netflix, tells the story of 20-year-old Ellen (Lily Collins), who is living with anorexia nervosa.
Karen RossJuly 21, 2017