St. Francis of Assisi Receives the Stigmata That empty town in the background seems to float – But still, it could be any smooth-walled town, Just as that sky slowly unrolling its white Design could be any sky. But those green, Shaley foreground outcroppings must be Mount Alverna. Though beasts look up – a crane, a mule A hare, its fur precise and fine – they don’t Startle as they hear a whoosh, or shy when they feel Seraphic heat, as light bends an olive Sapling, its leaves suddenly gold-foiled to just- Minted coins, descends towards rock-wall and cave, And presses, presses into the saint’s almost Horrified face, and into his palms, held out And curving, a gift of neat, supernal slits. – after the painting by Bellini
James Scannell McCormick writes and teaches college English in Rochester, Minnesota. His third collection of poems is First of Pisces (Kelsay Press).