Ribbons – a poem by Laura Reece Hogan

St. Thérèse of Lisieux, asked as a child to select a ribbon: “I choose all.”

You know what it’s like
to want it all: velvet, taffeta, lace,

butter-yellow, hazel, sky,
the basketful. You know how

to expect a heaven where a little flower
gets every meadow of love. You know

what it costs to take them up, one
by one, the ribbons you desire,

black-striped and gossamer, to take
the darkness and the light of him,

to wear them with equal joy,
marks of love

and love’s repayment.
You know the way to hold out

prayerful hands, gathering the cries
of your daisy-chain children,

clutching them in bright handfuls,


Laura Reece Hogan is the author of Litany of Flights (Paraclete Press, forthcoming Fall 2020), winner of the 2020 Paraclete Poetry Prize, the chapbook O Garden-Dweller (Finishing Line Press, 2017), and the nonfiction book I Live, No Longer I (Wipf & Stock, 2017). Her poems are featured in America, The Christian Century, Dappled Things, Anglican Theological Review, First Things, The Cresset, Whale Road Review, and other publications. Find her online at www.laurareecehogan.com.


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