Three sisters stand around a table.
It is quiet but for the the tap tap tapping
shoe of the little one.
Three glasses in a line across the table. A very large one in the middle.
A smaller one to the right, and a child’s one to the left.
The eldest pours water into each.
“You see, each is full of glory.”
The three little sisters grow up to be Sisters
who do not wear shoes.
In time the youngest becomes the greatest. She stayed little.
She says: “When I die, I will work even harder. I will rain down a shower of roses from heaven.”
And she dies. Everyone looks up.
It is now my time to die.
The old rose-bush is cut down by the gardener.
The withered branches, leaves and flowers go into the bonfire.
The thorns crackle as they burn.
One rose remains.
I am planted in the garden of Our Lady, one of many.
Red rose martyrs, innocent whites, mystics in blue.
A flower is small, quiet and still. Obedient.
A flower knows how to listen,
and accepts the light and water without complaint. It grows.
It is a place of rest.
In the cool of the day the Child Jesus plays in the garden.
Sometimes he plucks me with some others, and makes a crown for his Mother.
On some days a bouquet. When they are done playing he puts me back in the soil.
A flower does not protest.
One day the Child Jesus brings a friend to the garden, a young lady in armor.
“Gather your arrows” he says,
And presents her with a bow and quiver.
“Am I to be your Cupid?” she asks.
“No, my Eros.”
For the Greeks were nearer to his Heart than the Romans.
(He had longed to sail for Greece.
“Come over here and help us,” said the man in the dream.
Another would make the journey.)
And so the Little One gathers the roses into her quiver.
We are a little Communion of Saints. We are sharp,
though we have lost our thorns.
He points, and she draws me from the quiver.
She listens with the ear of her heart for the prayer. Loose!
A rainbow parabola,
The arc of history bends from Heaven to Earth.
That flutter in your heart is me striking home.
And when you pray, or hope, or love, you send me
For the Kingdom of Heaven is taken by violence.
For the Little Therese, and with apologies to