considering the nunnery

This morning on my way to the dump,

working on a poem for your sister’s wedding,

but late for an appointment with the mechanic

(and irritated because you had left all this to me),

I pass three nuns in their habits—

clean, with pleats as sharp as knife blades.

Just as I’m thinking how simple their lives must be,

one of them catches my eye and we exchange a measuring, secular glance.

So, I wonder, does she have arguments with God the way I do

(with you) while weeding the convent garden?

Friendly arguments, though sometimes with a twist

of real anger, some flare of danger—

and can a person, once married to Christ, divorce?

She, in her turn, is thinking . . . what?

That woman’s sunglasses are broken?

She’s got a hell of a mess to deal with?

What’s she doing in that fancy Volvo with all that crap behind her?

But how calm she looked,

in her robe with its pleats falling like grey rain,

her head a globe riding so clearly above.

What if there could be a lake

cool and clear, with words

that fall like water

then lie still, with a sheen

for reflection.

Published online March 11 2007.


Poets Who Swing Both Ways cover image

This piece was published in ‘Poets Who Swing Both Ways,’ the Spring 2007 issue of CV2.

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