St. Matthew and the Angel
From behind his right shoulder she leans
close by, hand resting lightly, wild hair a cascade,
daughter of earth and sky, lips
Perhaps she was there, invisible attendant
at the birth, hovering over tentative steps,
or one of the host who comforted in the desert
of temptation and grief.
The old man pauses, veined hand rising
to finger his beard, comes wisdom
in candlelight, far beyond his own poor
experience of life, dares to write
the unearthly story that threatens the social order,
lived by someone sacrificed for a world
unready to hear it.
No more ready are they in this newer age rife
with fear, pettiness, dreams for better, for words
he can barely comprehend himself, overwhelming
those who will read them, unmoored,
adrift in their fragility.
His hands cover his face, he works free the fatigue,
picks up the pen to write words distorted,
as they must be, by the lens of his humanity, mere
shadows of words, the mist, not the flood,
that bleeds through his pen to the page.
Eileen Mattmann’s poetry has appeared in several print and online poetry journals. She began writing poetry after a long teaching career.
The Ekphrastic Review
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