St. Francis, October 4, 2019

If I were you, I’d be dead by now,
or dying. Dead or dying
without a tenth of the madness
you brought into this world
to craze the rest of us
too fond of lifeless resting.

The day you walked naked
out of a silk inheritance
was the birth of a shameless polygamy
that still makes our prudish hearts
blush white.

All the taboos and fearful intermarriage rules
went out a window opened
forever now to the explosive entrance
of joyful mourning doves.

No one but you—
your flesh a living flattery of bloody imitation—
has better grasped the final agony
of chainsawed elephants.

When I watch you weave daisies
into Clare’s loose curls
I want to shake your pierced hand
in appreciation for its signs of love
so tenderly spoken.

Greg Kennedy, SJ is assigned to the spiritual exercises ministry at the Ignatius Jesuit Centre in Guelph, Ontario. Novalis will publish Greg's book - “Reupholstered Psalms” - on March 1, 2020.

  • Caroline Maloney
    Posted at 02:54h, 07 January Reply

    Wow! Your new St. Francis poem really twisted my mind around! Thank you! But the second last verse has me really wondering what is meant! Loved the last stanza!

  • Michelle Mahoney
    Posted at 06:18h, 07 January Reply

    WOW! Thank you, Greg!

  • Peter Bisson
    Posted at 22:43h, 07 January Reply

    Thank you Greg!!

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