Didn’t I too once suck deeply from the bosom
of God? In a cathedral in a city that still succumbs
to the past, didn’t I myself see two walls lined
with canes & crutches? & the pilgrims with crooked spines,
those who were paralyzed, were they not—at least some—
healed? & didn’t I also leave with a great hum
like the St. Lawrence flooding the city gardens?
& how long after the last blast of the organ,
how long does that sound remain in the rafters
or against the dome’s peeled plaster?
& when they exhumed the saints’ corpses,
did they not still reek sweetly of roses?
& how far from the cathedral did the pilgrims walk
before they realized they still could not walk?
Copyright © 2021 Jacques J. Rancourt
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Alice James Books.