Adoration Chapel after Spanish Mass

catholic poetry room
This week’s poem in the Catholic Poetry Room is by Fred Gallagher.                                                                                                                    

Adoration Chapel after Spanish Mass

Little girls are in their mothers’ mantillas;
men are on their knees on the polished stone;
a black-headed baby in loving olive arms sighs
and the old man sitting by me with thick glasses
and a cane resting between his legs drops off
in a twilight of sadness, gratitude, adoracion.
Let them all – toda la gente – take my cynical heart
and hold it up in their devotion, their outstretched
palms to the gold monstrance before us with its
white Son shining down on us. I ask for their gift
of survival as I seek self-loathing like some
wounded beast for a leafy refuge, a creature
hiding from light. Save me through them; save
me with them in the small chapel of these days.


Fred Gallagher is an editor with Good Will Publishers, the parent company of TAN Books/Saint Benedict Press. He has authored three books on bereavement, three children’s books and published poetry in college journals. As he continues to write poetry, his focus more and more has turned to poems with specifically Catholic references, themes, and questions.

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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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