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Issue Date:  April 4, 2008


Cross and Sunflower
for Mother Antonia

You burnish bright
the alloys of La Mesa.
Imprisoned by love
at 81 you flower
out of season.
Beside, beneath
the cross you keep
your promise.
You never leave Him.
Swayed by the sun
the smallest seed
can feed us.

-- Kathleen Gunton
   Orange, Calif.


So I showed them things.
Not much that was spectacular,
more the usual, ordinary stuff
like wild flowers, birds and seeds,
the daily chores, you know,
sweeping, baking, planting,
fishing, getting along.
I simply pointed them
to what was always out there
and then told them to “Go figure ...”
I guess they did,
or did their best at least
because they kept on coming back
for more, more of them too,
until the crowds began to draw
attention, began to look, to some,
like mobs, began to worry those
who worry about such scenes.
It didn’t take them long --
never does --
to detect some kind of threat,
something to be got rid of
before it got too late.
The rest, of course, is history.
Or was.

-- J. Barrie Shepherd
   Wallingford, 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, April 4, 2008

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