[4.06 / June 2009]

Summer Block

Sonnet for the Mother Mary

listen to this poem

I remember the low moan of cattle,
Their feet stirring the hay to musty gold,
And the sound of a rolling boulder
Like distant nursery thunder.

As a child I heard sobbing in the tents:
Our bodies took the vow of coming pain.
In Bethlehem, my womb was forever
Praying, alone beneath a starving heart.

I wanted to serve but not in body—
No temple teaches this low, animal love,
Shabby and regular as tearing skin,
That chains my mind to disappearing flesh.

This is the lesson I took from my Lord:
To love what you were born to lose.

Summer Block has published essays, short fiction, and poetry in a variety of publications, including McSweeneys, Small Spiral Notebook, Tarpaulin Sky, DIAGRAM, San Francisco Chronicle, Hamilton Stone Review, Monkeybicycle, Six Sentences, Stirring, ALARM, Identity Theory, January Magazine, and Rain Taxi. Find her work at www.summerblock.com.