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Issue Date:  November 23, 2007


Joseph and the Turtle Doves

One nested
within each upturned palm,
he held them
as if to loft them into flight,
soft warm breasts
rapidly beating within,
as below the extended belly
of Mary that first morning
she let his coarse hand
feel with fingers extended
the heartbeat and head
turned downward
toward pubic line,
soft and unmistakably
private to her yet --
the intimacy of that moment
of heart pulse
that had made him
unmistakably father.
But instead of
lofting the cooing doves
into flight, reluctantly
he handed them over
as offering,
as if already he knew Jesus
would one day be bound
over as sacrifice.
Flight -- flight would come,
but it would be
their flight, his and his
true turtle doves,
hidden beneath an angel’s
cape toward Egypt.

-- Chet Corey
   Bloomington, Minn.


Lake like beveled glass
Hidden deep within her depths
Stories from our past

-- Sr. Ann Marie Slavin, OSF
   Aston, Pa.


Note to poets: Short lines preferred. Poetry is published in a newspaper column only 35 characters wide, counting punctuation and spaces. Submit poems to Poetry, NCR, PO Box 411009, Kansas City MO 64141-1009, or e-mail at poetry@ncronline.org.

National Catholic Reporter, November 23, 2007

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