Thursday, August 20, 2015

Poetry Thursday: "The True Miracle of St. Brigid"

If April is the cruelest month, perhaps August is the most exhausting month.  The heat seems permanently set at "instant wilt" setting.  I started the month with lots of grading as my online classes came to an end.  I can't seem to settle into a writing groove.  In my administrator job, I'm working with three schedules at once:  Summer, Midquarter, and Fall. 

For comfort, I've been thinking about medieval monastics who formed nunneries and kept them running and did their creative work and cared for the larger community.  People like Hildegard of Bingen and Brigid (of Ireland) probably had creatively difficult months or months where their workload increased, yet they kept going.

A few years ago, as I was researching Saint Brigid for her feast day, a poem came to me.  It's just been published in Adanna, and I'm happy to repost it here.  If you want some background on Brigid, see this blog post.

The True Miracle of Saint Brigid

You know about the baskets
of butter, the buckets of beer,
the milk that flowed
to fill a lake.

You don’t know about the weeks
we prayed for the miracle
of multiplication but instead received
the discipline of division.

I managed the finances to keep us all fed.
By day, I rationed the food.
At night, I dreamed of a sculpture
manufactured of metal.

I didn’t have the metal
or the time, but in the minutes
had, I illuminated
any scrap of paper I could find.

Lost to the ashes:
The Book of Kildare, but also
my budget ledgers, flowers
and birds drawn around the numbers.

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