Sister Gertrude, by Richard Garcia
Angels are flying in V formation over the projects.
Verily, I testify angels are flying.
They are like an attack squadron of white paper.
I dial 666 on my cellphone.
Apparently you can leave a message:
Indeed, I declare, angels are flying in V formation over the projects.
Behind the projects is the railroad crossing
and Sister Gertrude is the crossing guard. `
The rail crossing sign, the rugged X, the exit bathed in fire.
Fire, Sister Gertrude says, she says bathed in fire.
You can cross now, cross over, cross over children.
She hurries them along with her tambourine,
that fearful trembling, that rattlesnake shaking—
she says Power, who's got the power?
Power say the children, we got the power.
The clouds have become tall ships unfurling their sails, the angels
have all become sailors in dress whites. They stand on the yardarms in salute,
sailing for The New Jerusalem, port city in the sky.
Richard Garcia's poetry books include The Other Odyssey, Dream Horse Press, 2014, The Chair, BOA 2015, and Porridge, Press 53, 2016. His poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies. He has won a Pushcart prize and has been in Best American Poetry. He lives in Charleston, S.C.
7/19/2019 11:43:50 am
I can't even tell you how much I love this poem.
7/19/2019 09:25:59 pm
As Poetry is my witness, this poem is a testament to the World to Come. And I thank you for it, Brother Richard!
7/19/2019 10:35:27 pm
I love it, Richard. Thank you for sharing your poetry with me.
7/20/2019 11:14:34 am
I think you ARE Sister Gertrude, and the words, the song, the poem are one. Jewels, every one. Thank you RG!
7/20/2019 11:34:51 pm
This is a powerful poem in a prophetic voice. It speaks to the present moment with the plight of thousands of immigrant children.
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