Monday, November 16, 2015

"Five Wishes" by Anne Porter

Kacho Fugetsu, Mid-nineteenth century, Meiji period, lithograph


I’d like to have a wild bird
Perch on my hand
A sparrow or
A chickadee
Sudden with her sharp feet
And fragile daring

I’d like to see again
The etchings Rembrandt made
Of stories from the Bible

Though they’re as plain
As Bethlehem’s hay
A radiance fills them

And I would like to visit
The Laguna Indians
And their old church
Made of whitewashed clay
With logs for rafters

And in it their Madonna
To whom they’ve given
A white lace apron

And I would like to learn
To accept my death
To accept our dying
That strange dawn

So deeply scandalous
That God himself wept
At the death of his friend

I’d like to find
The shrine of Chimayo
Where the lame leave crutches

I’d like to go there
With my daughter Katie

It would be enough
Just to be there
Without any miracle.



"Five Wishes" by Anne Porter from Living Things. © Zooland Books, 2006. 

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