There are three saints: Jerome, always in red
Occupies the middle, with humble Francis
Positioned on the left and Anthony on the right.
Triptych of saints together,
Yet each has his own story—
They did not know each other.
Paint, once wet, transformed as it dried,
Became a different color, now chipped
Over seven hundred years.
It’s a miracle it survived at all,
Gold intact, halos remaining straight,
Each panel tells a story of a life.
But there were once mothers standing next to them,
Fed them, rubbed their shoulders when they couldn’t sleep.
How many friends wished them safety on their journeys?
Now they stand alone, framed against blank walls.
They stare into empty space, ignorant of gold frame
Now holding them almost as One.
But the Holy mystery is what we cannot see—
Unrecorded dead now a revelation,
Most profound because there are no names.
With mystery, you cross a line so finely drawn
On the other side of death, nothing can be said.