Bread and Butter Note: For a Host of Blessings
After a winter visit
here is a letter, paper white, undated,
dropped overnight at your window.
Its fresh folds show asterisks. They indicate
brilliant footnotes in sparrow-prints, telling
how gently cared for she is, this small chirping one
who traced a precise map for miles in the snow to discover
something to feed upon, a largesse: hidden berries
in hedges, fruit under the winter trees, in gardens
from summer’s autumn, the seeds to stoke her flight and song.
O you of more worth than many sparrows, this letter is yours.
Read in the glow of itself it reveals the day’s events, guiding
like angels. This white letter is quiet, its eloquence low key.
See, even the gray squirrel sits up, folds it front paws
lightly upon its white chest, listening. The message is creation’s
reverent joy in itself, my reverent joy in you.
Undated forever this letter’s timeless mode is present in hope
deeply stirred, at peace with this pathos, this longing to collect
the scattered bygones of love’s providence:
the spacious room given over, the gracious table spread,
a host of blessings tending to the guest.
Ellen Murphy, CSJ
A book of Ellen Murphy's poems will be published later this year.
Grateful today for: a day at home, life in a praying community, Dodo and Suzanne, the companionship of cats, the beauty of fresh snow, the deer at Fort Snelling, RH, ML, AW. Holding in prayer today: MK having foot surgery, JH recovering, ML, MH, J, S, AD and others traveling today, the students and community of Northern Illinois University, Stephen's father, those who believe they must trust in guns and weapons for safety, JN, SK and all immigrants living in fear of deportation, people who work for ICE, Sisters of St. Joseph in Lebanon.