for Fr. Robert
A priestess’s offering: uplifted hands
scaring to heaven, home —
in a great net that, cast aloft, expands —
the doves, the dumb
albino avians of whitewashed ways’
of courts and alleys, sunlight, lemons — maze
of mystic Rome.
The white bat, stern, in his winged vestments, spreads
his hands at holy Mass
above the bowing faithful’s heads —
A spectral cross;
white cobra, hooded, swaying at his prayer,
the wand made supple under Pharaoh’s stare
in gold Egypt.
Circle of stones, the altar gleaming white;
a prophets’ contest called;
Druidic priests meet Patrick in the night
in Ireland of old.
A constellation cast on magic ground
The eyes of wizards glare.
Unseen across the night, a comet’s bound:
White deer, white hare.
by Monica Cooper