Mary Ann Larkin
LABOR DAY AT THE SHRINE OF OUR LADY
Breezes fan the Japanese maples
that guard the granite portals
of the Shrine of Our Lady
of the Immaculate Conception.
The Catholics bend into the wind:
the nun with her cane,
the pale hungry priests,
all the small forgotten people
whose eyes guard secrets
no one wants to know.
In the darkness of the Shrine
they kneel, to taste
the magic bread, the bitter wine.
On Labor Day morning
in the vaulted silence
of the church of Our Lady,
the spirits of the lame and lonely
rise up straight and shining.
The bells announce their passage.
Outside, tattered crows
drift in iridescent waves
across Our Lady's blue and golden dome.
Mary Ann Larkin is
the author of The Coil of the Skin (Washington Writers Publishing
House), White Clapboard (Carol Allen Press), The DNA
of the Heart (Pond Road Press), and A Shimmering That Goes
With Us (Finishing Line Press). Her poems have appeared in Poetrry
Ireland Review, New Letters, Poetry Greece,
and the anthology America in Poetry. In 2003, she founded
Pond Road Press with her husband Patric Pepper. Larkin grew up in
Pittsburgh and now lives in Washington DC and Truro MA.
Volume 7, Number 3, Summer 2006.
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