I am alone in the hush of St. Peter’s,
tour groups circle like pods of killer whales
hungry for experience. Three nuns
float by in unearthly robes.
I turn and there you are--
icon of high school art history--
iceberg madonna, luminous in a niche
of shadows. I can’t move my feet.
Who can know the keel of pain
that looms within your form—
crushed heart—I’m only twenty five,
and not yet a mom. Why am I crying?
When Michelangelo released you
from the marble, your knees and hands
were larger than life. Maybe that’s how
you bear this load? With one hand
you hold the lifeless body of your son,
while your other hand is open to sky,
or fate, or whatever it is you trust. If only
I were holy like you, Pieta, I could hold
my dying certainty. I could maintain
the Artist’s plan is good. Not yet. Doctrine
is like a chunk of ice drifting in a cold sea,
too slight to calve, too dense to melt.
Lesley-Anne Evans, an Irish-Canadian poet, grieves the death of her mother who passed away in June, 2022. Among her dear friends she counts those experiencing homelessness and/or living in addiction. Through poetry circles, a street level gallery, a storytelling museum exhibit, and times of crisis, Lesley-Anne has learned to be with them. Too many have passed away. Some are thriving in recovery. Lesley-Anne lives in the small woodland Feeny Wood, in Kelowna, B.C., where she offers times of solitude and retreat. A golden eagle was her coffee companion last Friday morning. Lesley-Anne's debut poetry collection Mute Swan is published by The St. Thomas Poetry Series (Toronto). Her work is awarded and anthologized.
The Ekphrastic Review
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