Jack Stewart



ST. ANTHONY OF THE CAVES

 

In a cave narrow enough

to rub shoulders with God,

St. Anthony contemplated

under the hillside at night,

imagining the grass nearly

reaching through to such little sound.

When others followed, he helped

them build their own loneliness

and taught them how to phrase

their praise of isolation. He blessed

the church they raised, but the words

for sainthood were nowhere in

the vocabulary of rain

or slow snow, and he did

not desire stained glass beyond

the afternoon light bleeding

through the autumn leaves.

And so he lived, and so he died,

and eventually the hillside

was emptied, the hollows of their faith

just ridged bumps in the earth.

I have never been there.

But some days the wind reads

to me a distant story

of devotion, the blind wind,

as it runs its fingertips

over the Braille of that grass.




Jack Stewart's work has appeared in Poetry, The Gettysburg Review, The American Literary Review, Nimrod, The Southern Humanities Review, and other journals and anthologies, most recently in Evansville Review
and The Iowa Review.  From 1992 to 1995 he was a Brittain Fellow at The Georgia Institute of Technology.  He lives in Fort Worth, Texas, with his wife and two daughters and teaches at Fort Worth Country Day.









                                    

 

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