Father Matthew Offers the Mass

catholic poetry room

This week’s poem in the Catholic Poetry Room is by E.P. Cowley.


Father Matthew Offers the Mass

Father Matthew offers the Mass alone
to an empty house
lifting bread to heaven for us
as we wait at home for the all-clear
but it’s not the same.

In his mind he hears our shuffling shoes
sees us straggling in from the streets
homing instincts drawing us in
to be lifted into the holy.

God’s chronic hope is a full house
evergreen children crowding in
banging the tables and asking for more
of all he gives.

Meanwhile
Father Matthew waits at the door
watching the sky
holding the keys.


E.P. Cowley lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, where she works as director of a small after-school program for at-risk children. She is author of the novel Closing Accounts, and Ordinary Sea, a book of poems used by her local parish during Lent and the Easter Octave. To read more of her work, visit https://www.greenhillsrising.com.

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About the Author

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


Jeffrey Essmann 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.

Jeffrey is an essayist and poet living in New York. His work has appeared in numerous magazines and literary journals, among them America Magazine, Dappled Things, the St. Austin Review and The Road Not Taken. He is a Benedictine oblate of Mt. Saviour Monastery.

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