Sun—as February ordains it roseate—early twisted inordinate—in gray blanket Snow has sifted to the pockets, wrinkles the cuff of his woolen cap
An old hand rubs stubbled cheek Snow flickers and falls again in a dazzle
As he groans and stirs— sparrows sing As he struggles to sit— sparrows sing As he exhales into the chill he considers the lilies of the field Their luminous curling petals rise steam or hope? or just white smoke wandering from the tiny fire He sits a while to listen to sparrows bickering in the bushes then bursting into song
They have their audience
Across in a court of broken glass and toppled stones a room— still partially intact Kindling gathered Marta melts snow for tea peeling potatoes in her lap Stops to blow on hands Marta’s heart—decent, visceral like her hair—bun, kerchief like her words—few in the failing like the wounds of her smile
And Mikhail—harnessed to the sounds of service Orderly rhythm in ruin hush hush hush of a broom stroking cobbles Mikhail—his hands wrapped in rags old warrior now, restorer of places to live Stops, removes his cap squinting sunlight into the channels of his face Then turns toward unsteady shuffling behind him
“You shouldn’t.” Tears interrupt reaching for the broom “You shouldn’t do this for me.”
“No, no, Holy Father. It is little thing— a little thing I do.”
A number of references from "The Sermon on the Mount," particularly, "Consider the lilies of the field..." and that "a sparrow does not fall to the ground outside the Father's notice."
White smoke is a sign to the waiting world-- that a Pope has been chosen.
An article in *The Guardian* today about how there are groups that hate the present Pope for his renunciation of tradition, wealth, pomp, and the "Vatican Courtiers". Made me think of this poem from a dream. Although not a practicing Catholic, I like the present Pope.