A memory just stepped through the door
after a sabbatical. It said
my sister delivered Holy Communion
to shut-ins. She did tell me this,
in the tone of avowal, the orbs of her eyes
getting slightly enameled,
what in earlier days was called glassy,
her delivering Communion a sign
her life had genuflected.
She’d apparently zip in her Subaru Sidekick
to All Soul’s rectory for the consecrated wafers.
I think Father Condett loaned her
some portable chalice (for the moveable feast)
and she’d cruise Sundays to co-parishioners,
dead weights in their own beds
or torsos strapped in their own wheelchairs
or otherwise ankle-braceleted by life, and then
I’m ignorant. I must think
she crossed herself saying, In the name of . . .
to bless her own self down to her besieged liver
and soul, then made holy her fellow lamb
before letting the Holy Eucharist descend
into the other’s cupped hands,
but she did not tell me, so knowing what
I do not know I tell you
she said, “Thank you, Jesus”
driving hope in the portable chalice home
to the toy mansion of the tabernacle
and though she did all the sins justice
charity must say, You’re welcome.
Dennis Finnell’s most recent book is Ruins Assembling, winner of the Things to Come Poetry Prize from Shape&Nature Press. He has recently published longer poems in Colorado Review and The Seattle Review. He was born and raised in St. Louis, yet has lived in western Massachusetts for years.