Mary of Sorrows

We do not in our country

niche you at corners,

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crossroads, highway shrines.

But in Karen’s face as she talks of her son

whose pain will not redeem the world;

as Marguerita, whose eldest will not

survive her; in Sylvie, whose child

learned all his letters in his second year

and by age four had been condemned

to mute incomprehension,

you appear.

Son-bearer,

mother of mothers,

we know we cannot be spared;

help us bear our sorrows

and the sorrows of our children.

Help us bear.

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