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
Published online March 11 2007.