From One-hundred Lost Letters

From an ongoing project in which I reflect on what St Thérèse of Lisieux may have written to her spiritual director, Père Almire Pichon. All the letters she sent to him in actuality have been destroyed. 

4

The tunnel through the mountain,
its black rush, crash of sound –

o my father, is this head-on death?
I have hankered after martyrdom,

the drama of severance, and yet
the sheer void, the long-drawn

clamour of hollowed-out rock –
a nothingness I had not intimated,

nor had I prepared for the shock
of hurtling back into the light.

25

I have retrieved, Mon Père, the grace
of clumsiness. Just now I dropped

my copybook: its cracked spine
fractured all my limping words;

earlier I knocked the bread
from basket to refectory floor;

for penance, I wear broken crusts
around my neck. I think of them

as sacramental; rough-cut hosts –
and I their battered chalice.

32.

With all my clumsy sentences and songs
I hope to make you smile, Mon Père,

the way a child delights her mother’s heart,
or a poor girl, given fine sandwiches

dreams against the tree, while Papa casts
for the bon mot, a flash of fish –

it seems I have one bouquet I can share,
the holy moment of the lips and eyes

as though I tender in my catch of time
a little sliver of eternity.

© 2019, Sarah Law

SARAH LAW lives in London and is a tutor for the Open University and elsewhere. Widely published as a poet, she edits the online journal Amethyst Review, for new writing engaging with the sacred.

Author:

The focus of "The BeZine," a publication of The Bardo Group Beguines, is on sacred space (common ground) as it is expressed through the arts. Our work covers a range of topics: spirituality, life, death, personal experience, culture, current events, history, art, and photography and film. We share work here that is representative of universal human values however differently they might be expressed in our varied religions and cultures. We feel that our art and our Internet-facilitated social connection offer a means to see one another in our simple humanity, as brothers and sisters, and not as “other.” This is a space where we hope you’ll delight in learning how much you have in common with “other” peoples. We hope that your visits here will help you to love (respect) not fear. For more see our Info/Mission Statement Page.

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