Darkness: For Mother Teresa

I am a small ugly woman
whom God, for reasons known only to him,
decided to persecute with holiness.

I have attempted to lose myself
all my life, but he who never forgets
held mirrors up everywhere I turned.

Now I’ve died and they have found the “darkness”
I knew since Calcutta, the absence that sat
like an ugly child on my chest.

I became their narrow fingers reaching out
from filth, their stench no water
could rinse away, their deaths held too tightly

for too long. I became their blank eyes
and finally saw everything. Yet I
knelt beside them dry-eyed and tireless.

I prayed when I had nothing left
but words. I brought back rags
in cardboard boxes that would not burn.

I became an old woman, tired
beyond sleeping. The dead had become
my arms, my breasts, my dry tears.

I was alone. I wished for certainty
more than life. I had neither.
Only old hopes from old stories.

When I tried to pray, ashes flew
around my face. The sign of the cross
blessed my shallow breathing.

Then the old priest blessed me instead.
I was too stubborn to run into the light.
I will outwit my lover a little longer,

I said to the thin air inside my mind.
I thought I heard another one outside the door,
raised my arms toward him, and was gone.

david power
5 years 8 months ago
My God what a beautiful poem.This is probably the one and only time that I have enjoyed reading poetry that was not classical.
I find my mind is choking with the images that you have pressed together.
All I can say is "would that every Saint had a poet to give truth to the lie".

 

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