I enter the church at four o'clock
to prepare for Mass. Other early worshippers
have already arrived. Alone yet together,
we seek Peace in the presence of Our Lord
in the Tabernacle and the peace that lurks
in every church-shadow cast by late January
Saturday-afternoon light coming through
the highest church window, known as
the Eye-of-God, and other windows—
full of colors and Saints. Kneeling slowly
in the small alcove before the statue
of Mary, lighting a candle then shutting
tired eyes, I offer a simple prayer
to Our Mother, Whose heart is a reservoir:
a source of comfort—centuries deep. Quiet
flames show through wind-injured eyelids.
Mary smooths the jagged edges of brokenness
like a river racing through a valley of stone.
We smile together, enjoy the scent of her roses.
God uses the priest to absolve me of sin.
But just how can one ready oneself
for the highness of the highest mountain—
that singular moment when the priest
places Jesus on her tongue
or the grateful tears she will cry?