Whitsun Embertide, Saturday, 2019


This week’s poem in the Catholic Poetry Room is by Mary R. Finnegan.                                                                                                               

Whitsun Embertide, Saturday, 2019

The days are coming when the veil will fall
only to reveal a world still mediated by a screen
and you will strain under the length of a sky

that has not changed for you in a day, a month,
a year of days stacked upon days. Look up now
and know there are moons we cannot see.

Through closed doors the demons who were cast out
will return to settle in your empty rooms,
heaving upon you a darkness dark as sackcloth,

their lies the soft cushion of remorseless regret.
Just remember you were once sprinkled
with hyssop and made clean as the first galaxy.

Loneliness will become the only habit
you cannot break and you will be unsure
if this is a miracle or a malady, and yet,

sturgeon will swim once again in rivers and lakes
and there will be time to separate
the chaff from the wheat.

Today, just bend your body toward belief.

Originally published in Lydwine Journal


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.

Print this entry

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.

Author Archive Page