Try as I might
I cannot remember his face,
Jesuit, a scholar
more at ease with manuscripts than marriages,
as we on that overcast November day.
The Bronx, twenty-five years
the sacristy of Fordham University chapel:
he vested and, cigarette
rehearsed in his head the vows
scrawled on a wrinkled
to be trembled into a sacrament.
Years later in England,
the three of us met for pub food and a pint.
His research on Newman shuttled
between Birmingham and Freiburg,
riding the train of
from Blessed to Saint,
Did a dead Cardinal work this small miracle,
gathering together in the yoke of years
a professor-priest and two
from a New York ghetto
amid the encircling
Last January, a gentle German Jesuit
took time to
our unopened Christmas card.
Lead, kindly light,
as Blehl himself had led us
into the unknown two decades ago.
face was thin, as I recall,
above his Roman collar,
The night is dark,
and he is now at home.
On Being Welcomed
Years of practice at being a guest
has heightened my
of welcome or its absence.
Tonight Im slightly
of what reception awaits.
I am going into the Mojave
at 11 p.m. on Dec. 31, 2002.
Arriving at the highway boundary
of the Nevada Test Site is familiar;
the organizers have a small
The temperature is in the low 30s
and Brother Wind is
gentle, almost absent;
hopeful signs but Ive had hard lessons
indifference from this desert.
I want to hear the silence of the
and wander out into the dark.
Sister Moon is on the sunny side of
so the stars have the sky to themselves.
Their beauty is startling
Milky Way, our home galaxy,
puts all else in the
And then she very quietly, very lovingly,
floods WELCOME over
of small things, God --
the whole field, God
of all, be praised.
by shape, yet limiting
for our sakes
accustomed as you are to swinging through
alone and seeking
with and leaving
always in motion, always
and yet alone:
Who can announce
revere you, detect you
the fecund twinkle
in a human
Second Antiphon in the Style of
O You who squeeze the wind
until she howls,
wring the rain until
send electric waves
to jolt the vacuum cleaner
to roaring life,
I praise your
moving in the homeliest of things.
Roses on couch cushions,
Lamp stands, small city gardens,
bath water slipping down the drain,
steel wool scouring egg crust off the iron frying pan.
--Sr. Anne Higgins, DC
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