Burial in Holy Week

catholic poetry room

This week’s poem in the Catholic Poetry Room is by Sally Thomas.                                                                                                                                                

Burial in Holy Week

All our lives are just an eyelash, said my friend
Beside her baby’s grave. The troubled sky
Galloped above the narrow cold red wound
Laid open in violet-starred grass. A monastery
Graveyard: a strange, apt place for a girl to find
Herself in white, an involuntary bride
In a communion of celibates, facing God
Who had given and received in one dread day.
The little box was settled into earth,
Heavy coverlet turned up, the clotted clay
Spaded smooth. Then, having seen this birth
Complete, the new womb closed, the other children
Ran laughing among the modest, ordered headstones
In the wind, beneath the veiled and sinking sun—
Alive as fire, brief and hungry, with that abandon
Which is a kind of praise—throwing pinecones.


Sally Thomas is the author of two poetry chapbooks, Fallen Water (2015) and Richeldis of Walsingham (2016), both from Finishing Line Press. Her latest book, Motherland, was a finalist for the 2018 Able Muse Book Award, and is forthcoming from Able Muse Press in 2019.

Burial in Holy Week was originally published in the Spring 2013 issue of The Lost Country.

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About the Author

Tim Bete, ICL Poetry Curator To submit poetry to be considered for the Catholic Poetry Room, visit our submission guidelines page.

Tim Bete is Poetry Editor for IntegratedCatholicLife.org and always searching for the best Catholic poetry from today's poets as well as those of the past.

Tim's poetry has appeared in Presence: A Journal of Catholic Poetry, The Asketerion, and the Poet and Contemplative Blog of the Discalced Carmelite Friars (Province of St. Therese). His first book of poetry is The Raw Stillness of Heaven, of which one reviewer wrote, “If you are Catholic and think that you do not like poetry, this book will change your mind.”

Tim is former director of the national writers' workshop at the University of Dayton—a Catholic, Marianist university. He's a member of the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites (OCDS) and often trades poems with his oldest daughter, who is a Dominican Sister. He says she's the best writer in the family.

Tim's writing has also appeared in several editions of the Amazing Grace anthology series (Ascension Press), theChristian Science Monitor, Writer's Digest magazine, and numerous parenting magazines. His latest book is Wanderings of an Ordinary Pilgrim

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