I Want To Be a Saint


Today I sat with a man who wept
Speaking of his wife’s abuse by her father.
My own memories flooded back— blood running down legs
When at age six my father beat me.

I want to be a saint—
Perform at least two miracles,
Kneeling, candles in hands,
Heavy cross around my neck…..

First, praying at my mother’s grave
Hoping to teach her how to love….
Then crawl three feet to my dead father’s place —
Exorcize what anger still lingers.

Perhaps my prayers will scorch
Their bones—but already
Fire of cremation has accomplished
More than a son’s burning dreams.

Are their ghosts now hearing my words?
Do they pass their hours in darkness
Deep underground each night
Finally listening to each other?

Do they mourn what was lost
That sleeps even now in my heart?
If so, let them come back to beg
Forgiveness for my sister’s festering sorrow.

What is not wholly owned
Inevitably is suffered by others.
What words do I say to dispel restless screams,
Heal wounds so to not pass on the pain?

2 thoughts on “I Want To Be a Saint

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