Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The alleluias! jumped off the page

As I do nearly every Tuesday, I celebrated the Eucharist at noon yesterday. And though the congregation is small, it is one of the high points of my week.

Well, yesterday I slipped up: I added the "alleluias" in the Eucharistic prayer. They are supposed to go away in Lent. Yesterday, those alleluias just jumped right off the page. My tiny congregation giggled, and we all said "alleluia!"

We are ready for Easter.

But before we get there, we still have this business of Holy Week, and winter's grip is still hovering in the air. So I thought I would give winter one final shot with a poem by Lisa Russ Spaar, who is an English professor at the University of Virginia and comes to St. Paul's on occasion. The photo I took a few days ago at the Barracks Road shopping center; that is the pile of snow that is still in the parking lot. Rio Road is a short distance away.

This poem is from Lisa's book Satin Cash. If you like it, go buy the book.
Stairwell, Rio Road
By Lisa Russ Spaar

All winter the doomed house held
in a stranglehold of dozers,
rigs, and wrecking balls,

sinuses of private hallways
exposed as facades fell, then roof,
sleet insulating skulled chapels of the attic;

joists, wallboard, tiled cavities of tub
and basin all collapsing week by week.
But not this aortic staircase,

via negativa flanked by crimson panels,
opening my chest each morning
as I drove past its futile climbing,

its bezeled taboo wound.
My own houseless heart jolted,
recovering, and I'd grapple with the radio

as the windshield wipers ticked
and wooshed, singing disappear,
appear, disappear

appear, now a blotting slurry of ice
and snowmelt; now clear.
Now gone; now still here.

No comments: