Tuesday, May 18, 1999


Now do I taste the vinegar of sorrow.  It shrivels my soul.

Through tears, altar lights undulate and shimmer.

Candles' flames are tongues of fire -- a Pentecost revisited.

But no Holy Spirit descends to me today, only bitter anger.

Now repeats in my head, "Too soon, too soon." 

Too soon snatched away, he who taught us that life's ironies 

Are random, and not sent to wound us alone.

But blind acceptance is not mine today, only bitter anger.

Now, in white sleeves of the alb, the priest's arms are as doves.

Rising and falling in graceful movements of the ancient rituals

Whose continuity with the ages once thrilled me, but not so now

For no rush of devotion fills me today, only bitter anger. 

Now does the tinkling of the Communion bell scatter thoughts.

In grief, stooped like whipped dogs, mother, sisters and I approach the rail,

They believing still, but I only for love of him to whom this had meant so much

For no reverence dwells in me today, only bitter anger.

Now do I take the Host.  Now do I drink from the cup.

Often had I received the Body, but never before this moment, the Blood.

Heady, its dulcet goodness assails my mouth.  And I, shocked that

Amidst anguish I can still find delight, open my soul to His healing grace.

At last no bitter anger engulfs me today, only sweet sorrow.