In the Wheat ~ Songs in your Presence


She taught us to speak to You
Thérèse of Lisieux,
whose words we wrote
in black notebooks
and used when You came close
and ours would falter,
for hers brought order
to our unwieldy ardor.


When we walked
out the path
and stood
by the iron pickets
where the crosses lay,
did we rely on
routine prayers
for something to say?


I was disappointed when I found out
You lived in Baroque churches.

Didn't You feel more at ease
in our simple wooden chapel
with no other columned grandeur
than the plump legs
of Your plain altar?


Can You remember
the rainy Saturday morning
I sat alone leafing through folios
of French cathedrals,
worried between pages
You might feel more at home
somewhere other than there with us
on that flat strip of Indiana farmland.

You knew how we loved being there.
Was it the lay of the land
or the sky with its pillowed clouds
out to the horizon
above the level fields
changing with the seasons
that made us feel we belonged there
where You hovered over us
in the heartland?
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