Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Knock Shrine

by Christian Reifsteck

God appears to me in such plainness sometimes—
here in Mayo, where the Virgin and some sheep and a cow
appeared behind the church to a group of farmers
nearly one hundred years ago.
And now a concrete shrine
has covered over the fields.

God appears to me in such plainness sometimes—
but not in the stark white statues marking the spot,
not the wall of glass encasing them,
not the massive stone rosary,
not even the rows of post-modern holy water fonts.
Not in these.

But God appears to me in such plainness sometimes—
in the elderly woman half-blind and timid
and thankful, so thankful to that selfsame God that I,
some stranger who has determined how to coax
the holy water from the font’s silver udder,
am here to guide her hand to fill up her cup.

And so God has appeared to me in such plainness—
in the old woman who can hardly see,
in her nervous request for assistance,
her relief that I just happen to be there,
and in the used plastic water bottle
that God flows into.

Christian Reifsteck’s poems have appeared in various publications, including The Bijou Poetry Review, Vantage Point, and manifest magazine. He currently teaches in central Pennsylvania.

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