Consolation to the Assembled – a poem by Ray Ball

Consolation to the Assembled

When the bishop
of Tarragona
untied
his own sandals
did his fingers
tremble
with fear
or only joy?

Chanting a blessing
for the fire
he ran toward,
Fructuoso prayed
to be consumed.
Born

to the stars.
The bone collectors
come,
leave through
the vomitorium

folding time,
taking
precious tokens
and holy ash
remnants
of the saint.

While the choir
sings,
entomb them
in the abbey
only reached by sea.

 

Ray Ball, Ph.D., is a history professor, essayist, and poet. She grew up in Oklahoma and Texas, but now lives in Anchorage, Alaska. She is the author of two history books and her verse has recently appeared in Cirque, Longleaf Review, and West Texas Literary Review.

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