Two Poems: "Breath" and "Reflection on Bernini's Sculpture, The Ecstasy of St. Teresa"
Literary Issue: Poems by: Patricia Newbery
This poem reflects my life of segues: lamentation over paternal death leading to grievance against God, but then blessed with spiritual rebirth in Our Lord.
“Don’t have another child or buy a house or car,”
the surgeon told them back in the ‘50s.
“I can’t guarantee I got it all.”
But they hoped,
and made a pact with Him,
who surely would work a deal with them?
But I was due nine months later,
I didn’t come.
I waited…a week…
At 2am he drew his last breath.
At 10am I breathed my first.
Holding it against Him
who would not make that deal,
I sought peace and joy and love
In a life not filled with Him.
O foolish heart! O floundering soul!
Who pursued man’s glories, his accolades,
while constructing my eggshell life.
How many years, decades passed –
Until I received the rosary beads
that brought me back to Him.
Though suffering I still face,
my days are lived for His glory,
my nights are filled with peace.
So the breath as vital as that first
was the second one I at last embraced
from His Spirit that dwells within.
The Lord offered me a second chance,
a second breath after
my father breathed his final breath.
“REFLECTION ON BERNINI’S SCULPTURE THE ECSTASY OF SAINT TERESA”
Where is your fear, Teresa of Avila?
The angel, no longer in pursuit –
now poised to shoot
the arrow he’s set to impart –
aims the arrow at your heart.
His free hand, so close,
Softly touches your robe.
Yet you, Teresa, are in ecstasy:
no impassioned plea
for mercy; beckoning the arrow –
reclined, head back, lips parted, face aglow.
The whiteness of the stone
matched only by your purity of soul.
Even the angel can’t hold back a smile
at your ardor for this arrow from on high.
For it comes not from Olympus –
neither Eros nor Artemis.
No, this piercing from your Beloved is the impetus
of your everlasting bliss.