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Mary, Mother

By Dana Littlepage Smith Poetry

It is a fact that no one worries in the Bible. —Adam Phillips i. She worried. & she knew. Good enough makes a faint halo. Still she was good enough. She let the infant dream his unbroken body at her nipple. She suckled him & waited as lightning struck. Often. His eyes clouded— ultramarine, gray…

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Picturing the Passion

By Gregory Wolfe Essay

NOW THAT Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ has reached thousands of screens around the world and the frenzy of editorializing, pre- and post-release, has died down, two of the early questions about the film have been answered. Once the film entered the public domain, most of the fears about whether the film was…

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Bystander

By William Coleman Poetry

I watched him fall and rise upon that hill, heard his call as he released his ghost. I never dreamed civility would damn me. I was like others, a man of honor with a wife who wanted peace of mind by nightfall, children who needed discipline, routine. I could not be a revolutionary, abandon what…

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Midrash

By Todd Davis Poetry

And the heart of man is a green leaf: God twists its stem and it withers. ______________________________—Nikos Kazantzakis At first the hunger in his belly did not burn, nor did it lie at the bottom with the heaviness of stone. It was like iron hammered flat, like the dull edge of a knife pushed against…

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For the Virgin of Sorrows

By David Brendan Hopes Poetry

Remember a time before the big, important occasions that made it into the book, before the winemaking and the raising from the dead. Remember you were a girl, and a boy brought you flowers. The moon moved and another boy brought you flowers. It looked like that was the way it was going to be…

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The Teachable Moment

By Mark Jarman Poetry

John 18:38 Pilate questioned Jesus. Jesus questioned back. Pilate questioned him again— The cool Socratic tack. Their repartee was candid, A pointed give-and-take. It was not clear if its last word Was freely willed or fated. When Jesus chose to answer And give the reason why, Pilate asked him, “What is truth?” § Enough about…

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Before All Things

By Tania Runyan Poetry

The day Christ died a record-long freight train barreled through the Rollins Road crossing. For seven minutes tankers and lumber flats vibrated through the spikes in his wrists. A fisherman dropped his pole by the retention pond and headed toward the hill. A girl at a bus stop clutched her side as the embryo implanted…

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Late Easter, Spring Come Lately

By Brett Foster Poetry

She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. In one of John Donne’s under-read hymns, on his sickness, he claims one place held Paradise and Calvary—Adam’s disgrace, too: over whose tree we choose…

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Putting Out into the Deep from Gloucester

By Paul Mariani Poetry

The sea wind whispers and the tall oaks shake, their leaves shimmering in the August noon. And now the dry grass wrinkles and the floorboards flame. Saffron motes, a distant bird cry, this brackish sea. What was it you figured the wind might say? The oaks sway gently this way and that. Like young girls…

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The Harrowing

By Betsy Sholl Poetry

Steep concrete stairs leading up to the empty stadium’s ledge— and was it a moment’s lapse, that one step out onto air? Or was there a clamor, a shrieking inside, a pack chasing her, creatures who prodded and leered, who for so long, like sleeping dogs, she gingerly stepped around, and perhaps had come to…

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