To Etch the Stars
It is a day without form, dark
as night, a dirty rain falls.
Still, I walk out, into the chaos,
see the cosmos as it was before:
a sea in storm, everything waiting
for the breath of God
to tame the wild ocean of the world.
Leaves blow like dust devils,
branches break limb from limb,
birds huddle under bushes, under eaves,
squawking, trembling, forgetting
even their young in their fear.
I wait at Doon Well, the prayer rags
and ribbons on the hawthorn tree
flutter in the wind. I stand my ground,
still, in chaos, storm, waiting
for the breath of God to conjure
a new world, to separate light from dark,
to etch again the stars onto the sky,
to raise the sun, to call us good
as He names each of us, one by one.
Mary R. Finnegan is a writer and nurse living in Philadelphia. Her essays and poems have appeared in Dead Housekeeping, PILGRIM: A Journal of Catholic Experience, Catholic Digest, Three Drops from a Cauldron, Speak Easy–WHYY , The American Journal of Nursing, Lydwine, and elsewhere.