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


“Everybody today seems to be in such a terrible rush. . . .
in the home begins the disruption of peace in the world.”
—Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Mother Teresa keeps
strumming and singing
Chapin’s “Cat’s in the
Cradle” in my hustle-
and-bustle on-constant-
replay dream where I

never get to where I’m
trying to go, that universal
workaholic nightmare, don’t-
step-on-the-cracks reality is
reality, the everyday kind
of power-walking the turn

around the corner that’s one
big square of Tantalus-tempting
glaring future that hasn’t started
yet, never will, those damned
cracks thinking we have time
for fear, which, of course, is

all our time, these constant
blocks building apprehension
after apprehension, until sure
enough, there’s no room left
for cracks, our one way to hear
Mother T’s needed song.

Originally published in US Catholic.

Winner of America Magazine‘s 2019 Foley Poetry Prize and Professor of English and Creative Writing at Lock Haven University, Marjorie Maddox has published 11 collections of poetry—including Transplant, Transport, Transubstantiation(Yellowglen Prize; re-issued 2018 Wipf and Stock); True, False, None of the Above (Illumination Book Award Medalist); Local News from Someplace Else; Perpendicular As 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(2008) and Rules of the Game: Baseball Poems (2009); Common Wealth: Contemporary Poets on Pennsylvania (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.

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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 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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