Alice O. Howell   







It is raining.


            Pink hollyhocks press at our kitchen window


            doubled by Degas -


each filled and frilled flower


draws tints of dance


gathers intensity


to deeper knots of light.



I wait for you, stunned


            by a hummingbird landing


            on a stem of air


            as drops drip


            from bright leaf to green bud to leaf below



            by a purling silence


            and the flaunting flutter


            of rosy wet whimsy


            now within myself as well


truly it is too much for prayer!


enough to read the round matutinal rubrics


illumined on this page of glass



like the hovering winged emerald


I, too, sip the sweet and holy word of Presence.



you come in smiling. I give and get a kiss.


            I pour hot coffee


            you break toast


together we open the missal of morning


to a grace


            blurred by bliss.



A. O. Howell