Last Words of Saint Anthony of Padua
I lift my arm over the city I love.
Do not look away. The world left me
breathless and I can no longer live.
I have come, Padua, to say goodbye.
Goodbye to the sleek fish and the river lilies,
goodbye to the hills rocking in their green sea.
Goodbye to the castles, the clear air that binds us.
One more shining day and one more night
to find what you have lost. Now I am skinless
while bells in their towers ring, ring, and the light
reveals how life has shaped my toiling muscles,
sailing in penance, working my way back
in late spring to the start of my last loss.
Muscles change, then skin begins forming
growth around them. All the world is flesh
of the God I walk in each early morning,
praying, praising, longing. Do not leave.
Listen. My tongue is for you and it is singing.
God is crying within. You can believe
in the attention of rushing water, touch of pardon,
shelter of walnut trees in your grief.
See the white stars in your hidden garden.
Closed like small hands in prayer all day,
blooming in night under the one heaven.
I am tired of separation. I make my way
seized and fasting in my last earthly grip.
My palms face you. Look at me today.
Margaret Lloyd was born in Liverpool, England of Welsh parents and grew up in a Welsh community in central New York State. Fairleigh Dickinson University Press published William Carlos Williams’ Paterson: A Critical Reappraisal. Alice James Books brought out her first book of poems, This Particular Earthly Scene. Plinth Books published Lloyd’s second collection of poems, A Moment in the Field: Voices from Arthurian Legend. Forged Light was published by Open Field Press in November 2013, and Travelling on Her Own Errands: Voices of Women from The Mabinogi was published in 2017 in Wales by Gwasg Carreg Gwalch. Her poetry honors include a National Endowment for the Humanities grant, fellowships to Breadloaf and to Hawthornden Castle in Scotland, and a writing residency at Yaddo.
The Ekphrastic Review
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