“I tell you this
to break your heart,
by which I mean only
that it break open and never close again
to the rest of the world.”
            (Mary Oliver, “Lead,” New And 
           Selected Poems
, Beacon Press,
           2005, p. 54)

Isn’t it always from a distance we see angels.
Closer, we recognize magnolia blossoms
on a neighborhood tree. They seem

to have flocked as if white doves,
not the mourning kind, but the 
unexpected ones, their quiet wings,


a knowing stillness we take in, breathe out,
the body’s prayer–wordless affirmation
of the kingdom of heaven coming near . . .

the Displaced on the street, the emergency-room
nurse still tolling her Pandemic losses,
the families of hospice loved ones releasing
butterflies to a field of wildflowers,

Elena Mozhvilo

a young woman tender with bruises,
a mother’s vigil at the hospital bedside
of her only son, all they that mourn,

those now and before and to come
gathered for communion, the breaking
of bread and hearts open as our uplifted palms.


* “‘happy are your eyes because they see,
your ears because they hear.'”
(Matthew 13: 16-17, The Jerusalem Bible)