Looking for a Cure

This week’s poem in the Catholic Poetry Room is by Carole Stone.                                                                                                                                                                                     

Looking for a Cure

A pelican dives into the bay.
Vendors hawk popsicles,
women, clay masks
from baskets on their heads.
Noon, they rest under palm trees,
umbrellas of the poor.
Overhead, a flock of gulls
flap their way north
returning to their first nesting place.
How can I find mine, father
embalmed in whiskey,
mother shrouded in a silver sheath.
Not in the sky, on land
or in the sea, they are the ache
that lives in me, no tin Milagro
a woman offers, can cure.
Back north, my daughter cares
for her ill husband.
Will he be with her next year?
It’s January 6 and the Three Kings
are following the star to bring gold,
myrrh and incense for the infant.
Soon shattered pinatas will release
their gifts. Mine, I am alive.


“Looking for a Cure” was originally published in Presence: A Journal of Catholic Poetry 2019.

Carole Stone has published five books of poetry, among them American Rhapsody (CavanKerry Press) and Traveling with the Dead (Backwaters Press). She is Distinguished Professor of literature, emerita, Montclair State University. Carole wrote this poem while in Zihuatanejo where she spends a month each winter. Mexicans celebrate January 6 rather than Christmas day. It is a joyous occasion with pinatas for the children to open and receive their gifts.

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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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