Spirit Down to Bone – creative nonfiction by Mary Ellen Gambutti


Spirit Down to Bone

Steeped in family faith, receptive to the holy, I witnessed my first miracle as I played beside my bed one day. The corpus of the pink plastic phosphorescent crucifix fascinated, glowed green at night, and when held under the dust ruffle. It jumped away from me. Awestruck, I called to Mom, “It moved itself! My cross!” She expressed no doubt.


A visit with Dad to his Irish-born Great Aunt Kate at her New York convent nursing home room yielded more keepsakes. Withered, feeble fingers groped in the nightstand for holy cards, miraculous medals and black rosary beads. Nothing of value to bequeath but tokens of faith that passed from her ancient hands to mine. I kept her treasures in a shoebox with other religious articles; plastic glow-in-the-dark manger scene, the pink crucifix, my first communion prayer book, and took the box from my bookcase to inventory, perhaps test their power to move me, or move themselves.


Mary Ellen Gambutti’s stories appear or are forthcoming in Gravel Magazine, Wildflower Muse, The Remembered Arts Journal, The Vignette Review, Modern Creative Life, A Thousand and One Stories, Halcyon Days, Nature Writing, Post Card Shorts, Memoir Magazine, Haibun Today, and Borrowed Solacehttps://ibisandhibiscusmelwrites.blogspot.com/

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