This week’s poem in the Catholic Poetry Room is by Marjorie Maddox.


« April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land
Memory and desire…”
T. S. Eliot, The Waste Land

Yesterday, dull flat dirt,
but today the yellow bobs
of daffodils-and lilacs (!)
lovely in their Sunday best—
obliviously decked out for Easter,
which has called in sick, cloistered
instead behind all that isn’t
what it was: absentee
stained glass, sealed tight
against the world; prayer
videotaped and piped in
to the still living, now quarantined
behind brick, wood, and stone, behind
straw that won’t spin into the glorious
gold of daffodils! O lavender,
petaled with Spring and resurrection,
give us your memory and desire,
The Ordinary Time of suburban dirt
and city gardens, reading again
(in these days of desolation)
for one more fragile miracle,
one more fragrant flower
of everlasting hope.

Originally appeared in Pensive.

Marjorie Maddox, winner of America Magazine‘s 2019 Foley Poetry Prize and Professor of English and Creative Writing at Lock Haven University, has published 11 collections of poetry, including Transplant, Transport, Transubstantiation (Yellowglen Prize; Wipf and Stock); True, False, None of the Above (Illumination Book Award Medalist); Local News from somewhere Else; Perpendicular To I (Sandstone Book Award); the short story collection What She Was Saying (Fomite); the children’s books A Crossing of Zebras: Animal Packs in Poetry spirit Rules of the Game: Baseball Poems; Ask a Question (Paraclete Press); Heart Speaks, Is Spoken For (Shanti Arts); Inside Out: Poems on Writing and Reading Poems with Insider Exercises (Kelsey Books) I’m Feeling Blue, Too! (Wipf and Stock) Common Wealth: contemporary Poets (co-editor; PSU Press); Presence: a Journal of Catholic Poetry (assistant editor); and 550+ stories, essays, and poems in journals and anthologies. The recipient of numerous awards and Pushcart Prize nominations in both poetry and fiction, she gives readings and workshops around the country, including at Franciscan University, LeMoyne College, Wheaton College, Penn State University, and elsewhere. For information please see www.marjoriemaddox.com

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