Pandemic Spring #2

Never before have the marsh marigolds
burned such perfect suns in the mud
along the smile of Marden Creek.
Never before,
or at least not since last year,
but four Alzheimer seasons—
summer, autumn, winter, sleep—
have intervened and leeched the radiance
of immortal memory buried shallow
in common graves that now and then
open up to frosts and heavy rainfall.

Recollection…our most precious heirloom,
so often overlooked in our hurry to pack
for the next round in the tireless cycle
of epic quests that weary us to death
of reminiscence. 

We forget we’ve forgotten
and walk in circles lost
to anxiety more phantasm than fate.

Yes, but how?
How do you will your heart to beat
or to stop and other such acts of nature so indomitably wild?
Thank God,
the string around your finger
Thank God,
the tap on your shoulder.
Thank God,
the timer on your oven
that beeps out a simple return
before all the lovely cookies burn.

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.

  • Peter Bisson
    Posted at 10:23h, 13 July Reply

    Thank you Greg!
    The smile of Marden Creek…

  • Peter LeBlanc
    Posted at 10:44h, 13 July Reply

    Thank you, Greg. I lived by Marden Creek for 11 years. Every one of your words evoked a beautiful memory, including the red-winged blackbirds who would be guarding their nests in the bulrushes around now. I’ll never hear an oven beep again without being reminded of your poem. Peter LeBlanc

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