Sacraments – a poem by Bonnie Naradzay

Winter is piling snow on the porch railings, and ice embraces 
the camellia leaves, the expectant buds. If I forget thee…
I fling open the front door, half expecting the fox to appear, 
trotting down the road in the dark, always going somewhere.

Where do the birds go when evening comes – 
the cardinals, finches, and the others I cannot identify? 
In today’s reading, John’s disciples start to follow Jesus, who stops to ask – 
what are you looking for? They say – Rabbi, where are you staying?
Come and see, he responds.  They stay with him the rest of the day.
This was before all the parables and the fish, bread, and wine.
I walked straight eastward this morning. Between the faint striations 
of clouds limning the horizon, the sun was a transmutation of fire.
Then a flurry of swifts arose – little quarter notes, high in the sky –
only to disappear, flying into the vanishing point.
The horses have been led out of the stables to graze 
in the dazzling frost-covered grass, the suspension of air. 
Maybe the whole world is floating, like the ducks
where the pond has not yet frozen over.  Have mercy on me.

Bonnie Naradzay‘s poems are in AGNI, New Letters (Pushcart nomination), RHINO, Kenyon Review Online, Tampa Review, Pinch (Pushcart nomination), EPOCH, Anglican Theological Review, American Journal of Poetry; many others. In 2010, the University of New Orleans awarded her a month’s stay with Ezra Pound’s daughter, Mary, in an Italian castle in the Dolomites. 

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