Clouds of rain, perhaps,
could check the unrestrained compulsion,
salve the oozing bending
toward this sacred light.
Or if it rend me, let it.
I know me not a whit. I thirst for God.
The sky has spun a golden spire wrung with glory—
untouchable its heights of beauty.
What is there left for me to do but ache,
and scratch upon the broken sod these seeds?
Let truth obscure itself, to want my search,
but comfort me with leaves of green
that split from withered seeds
to thrust a fragile fruit above the sod;
and pulsing with the grief of grasping toward
the glory of the sun.
But it can never hope to touch
the sacred breath that warmed its life.
It bears its beauty on the broken earth
without ambitious thought, and leaves behind
the tang of sweetness, ripened by desire.
I pray perpetuate this yielded yearning.
Let it become a sweetened warmth of fruit,
strung with glory hung in gold upon the spire of the sky.
A leaf upon the broken sod
am I, my God, my God.
Gloria Kurtz lives among the maple trees by New York’s Lake Ontario shoreline. Occasionally she escapes from textbooks to trails or canoes, but otherwise she thrives among her posse of young students.
Photography by Kenneth Godoy