A place for departing saints

I watched the widowed mother

pause on the steps of

Matilde of the Sacred Heart,

a sight in black and white

posed in a black polyester dress,


cautiously down

cracked white concrete,

and I studied her


studying my children

across the street

in the

catholic park,

riding their bicycles and hiding

behind summer trees and sharing

their lovely laughter,


and it gave her

and it gave me

and it gave us

a prΓ©cis of her new world.


she considered the words

spoken in

the privileged language

of prayer,

still, inside, chanting, inside,

in an idiotic, monotone


an old rubric

gutted by a god

prone to soliloquies



she hailed a cab

for someplace else.


13 thoughts on “A place for departing saints

  1. Kelly Huntson June 4, 2019 / 8:38 pm

    Beautifully poignant capture, Steven. The way you expanded her entrance from the past into the decisions of a new reality is so masterful.
    Always such a joy to read you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Silent Hour June 5, 2019 / 9:00 am

    a god prone to soliloquies — I loved the whole poem, but your lines about god and prayer were what stood out.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lucia July 3, 2019 / 12:17 am

    Powerful writing. You have created an outstanding moment of braking from the chains of the past and starting something new.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. cat9984 July 14, 2019 / 7:08 am

    Beautiful. When my husband died in January, I discovered that finding the new “normal” really does start almost immediately.

    Liked by 1 person

      • cat9984 July 14, 2019 / 2:28 pm

        Thank you. Actually, that was part of what made me appreciate your poem. Focusing on the future makes it easier to remember the past fondly rather than painfully.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Steven Baird July 14, 2019 / 2:38 pm

    I’m very glad. Best wishes to you, and thank you for letting me know. πŸ™‚


  6. patriciaruthsusan August 17, 2019 / 10:44 am

    A lovely metaphor for the passing of one type of life into another, Steven. Stunning descriptions. —- Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

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