Here is a poem inspired on Good Friday and Easter 2020 by images of the Pope presenting his messages to the world amid pandemic solitude.

After the text is a video with me reading the poem, followed by comments from poets Beth Weinstock and Audrey Brahler. We met on April 26 for a Poetry Circle during which poets read poems — finished and unfinished — to the others and then comment with encouragement and criticism.

Want to attend an upcoming Poetry Circle? Register here:
(You will be muted for the conversation among the poets.)


Access To Francis

I saw Pope Francis,
praying alone in the basilica,
giving his message
to an empty square.

His solitude sparked a sudden blessing
for Monica who follows in the Way
— a practice of service
I have long admired:
her soulfulness, her observance,
and — when we lived closer —
her prayers on my behalf as she passed
my home on her early morning walks.

This most recent Holy Week,
in this new era,
the pope stood alone
and at once, he was separate
and together equally with all.

On the wings of a virus,
structures break down
masks are worn
boundaries blur
barricades rise
and everything achieved
can so easily be lost
— and eventually will.

But on Easter, in this brief moment,
nobody had greater access to Francis,
nobody prayed closer to the pope
than my friend Monica
in her home.