Unbroken – a poem by Melissa Chappell

after “Dark Night” by St. John of the Cross
My love is caged by zeal,
a woman-warrior whose passions 
steal the vigor of men.
Yet my love is a tender thing,
a blossom of little note,
hidden beneath the rocky crag,
her hand easily bruised,
the “Hallelujah” shattered
a thousand times--
too many for her to be uncaged
into seduction’s wilderness.
Yet she seeks the face of her Beloved,
the one who will not bruise her heel.
By night she flees the walls of wire
to find her Beloved.
O Love! O magnum mysterium!
His light has guided her 
to this place.
Its flame burns, a guide deep in her breast,
as does a fire burn brightly 
on the hearthstone.
He is there in the meadow,
sleeping among the lavender,
the lavender so fair.
Beneath the fanning cypress they lay,
where she bore the wound of grace,
and the once shattered Hallelujah 
escaped her lips,

Melissa Chappell is a native South Carolinian who, along with her affinity for writing, also loves music. She plays the piano, the lute, the guitar, and is a classically trained vocalist. She is a contralto who has performed in numerous choirs. Her latest book is Doors Carelessly Left Ajar, published by Alien Buddha Press, 2020. 

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