unnamed.jpgWhat blessings will she bring
This rough-hewn Beauty,
Tanned by ages uncountable.
Unceremoniously left on a stoop
In our little village.
She reigns
Among the trash bins
Between the gated door
And vinyl siding.
She is perfectly content
Lugging a pudgy Christos,
Half-smiled because of joy
Half flowered with determination.

She knows we need her.
Our life now harder than
The month before,
More needy a place, but made happy still
By toddlers’ laugher and
Minstrels’ intricate guitar strums.

She waited to appear,
The moment when weariness took over
Just before that final sigh,
The usher, “we can take no more.”

Not all will believe or claim to believe
She can change our fate.
Hardened by disappointments
They can’t wash sorrow from their hands.

Yet even disbelievers
Whistle a note or two
Hoping she will hum their tune back
Or transpose it into a sun-time lullaby
Or mid-day chant that expels
Bad dreams.

Are there God’s givings in her mysterious way,
Appearing like at Fatima, Guadalupe, or Lourdes?
Will she be there tomorrow
Patinated, an unchanging
Smile, brightened by every silent
Prayer, a hopeful wish to Mary
That passes by.


Charlene James-Duguid
Amissville, Virginia
April 27, 2020