Alfred F. Skillen: An All-Souls Day Sonnet


Grandfather, before the stroke that stole his

mind and movement, would walk me through the stones

inscribed with lives and set mostly in rows

with occasional deviations—this

to prove that something still here lives.  He read

to me the names and numbers and hard-pruned

poems, whose long, more ample branches lay strewn

in unseen hearts, while we walked past the dead

friends we had never met.  Rarely, or so

I remember, did one seek the other’s

hand; I look on us now more as brothers

too wide apart in years to really know

how to play together.  Now he is where

he walked me, with the unmet friends we share.

Greg Kennedy, SJ is assigned to the spiritual exercises ministry at the Ignatius Jesuit Centre in Guelph, Ontario.

  • Peter Bisson, SJ
    Posted at 19:08h, 31 October Reply

    Thank you Greg!

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