Miserere mei, Deus Make me hear of joy and gladness, that the body you have broken may rejoice. —Psalm 51:8 Abandonment in other days has meant new stone from old walls—spolia, the gift of ruins. Centuries are made of those that came before, composite monuments to starting over. At St. Andrews, one cathedral made a town, grey cottages all framing bright blue, bright green doors, and breaks to keep the dooryard gardens from the brash all-withering sea. Red gambrel at road’s end, now broken every way but burnt, you are not one of these—no sturdy history to plunder or preserve. Your cinderblock twin chimney towers topple unobserved. Let me remake your boards, your beams a new embracing body with a right spirit.
Libby Maxey is a senior editor at Literary Mama. Her poems have appeared in Emrys, Crannóg, Stoneboat and elsewhere, and her first poetry collection, Kairos, won Finishing Line Press’s 2018 New Women’s Voices Chapbook Competition. Her nonliterary activities include singing classical repertoire, mothering two sons, and administering the Department of Classics at Amherst College.
I was humming Gregorio Allegri’s composition, based on this psalm, while reading. Enjoyed this poem.
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