Today's poem is by Marianne Boruch

St. Francis in Winter

Snowbound, St. Francis in the iris bed, snow
making a little cap for his stony head.
He's maybe a foot and a half tall, smaller
from the kitchen window, his thoughts
an inch wide, an inch deep. His furrowed brow—
the half-master of concrete who poured him, then
shook him from his mold nevertheless
narrowed by hand each line of worry there.
Snow peaks on his shoulders, palest
drift from last night, a veil of it
over the streetlight when I looked out late
in the no-moon dark. It came down.
It kept coming. I didn't think
solace, seeing that. I didn't think
St. Francis-over-the-frozen-iris-who-guards-
because it was
near-sleep washing
the house away and we were about
to turn and walk upstairs.
Morning now, the dream of not
being here over. St. Francis
more alone than he's ever been. Kingdom
of patience, kingdom of his badly
chipped outstretched hand. So cold
out there, not even a bird, not even its
splintered call, the yard
white, its enormity absolute
and small, everything St. Francis knows
but keeps forgetting.

Copyright © 2006 Marianne Boruch All rights reserved
from Beloit Poetry Journal
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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