Poem: “The Call”

The Call

Two old aunts
After many decades were called
To raise an orphaned nephew

Angels left behind but could not tame
Into holiness; he was empty,
So they feasted him
On their sacrificing.

When he needed gates,
They petitioned a builder
For a small house; they didn’t own

A down payment. Their prayers
And tears turned into ink
On the contract accepted by the bank.

Their new house had a cupboard
Stuffed with wheat and honey,
Faucets opened rivers in dry places.
Their gabled roof gladdened
In the peals of a church —
Steeple bells shook the window panes

Every time angels passed
Their choirboy nephew put on
A starched cassock, cinctured with
A red sash, fringe dangling
To the floor.

At Christ’s Holy Supper
A mist of golden chimes
Circled the bread and wine,
An abundance of radiance
Gathered in every pewed soul.

Across town, foul breaths from the tavern
Got caught in the telephone poles
But no one was there to answer their call

Philip C. Kolin

Philip C. Kolin, Professor of English at the University of Southern Mississippi, has published four books of poems, including Deep Wonder: Poems (Grey Owl Press, 2000) and, most recently, A Parable of Women: Poems (Yazoo River Press, 2009). More than 200 of his poems have appeared in or are forthcoming in such journals as Christian Century, America, St. Austin Review, Christianity and Literature, Michigan Quarterly Review, Windhover, Seminary Ridge Review, Louisiana Literature, Blue Collar Review, St. Anthony Messenger, South Carolina  Review, etc. Kolin is also the founding editor of Vineyards: A Journal of Christian Poetry (www.vineyardspoetry.com) .  He was educated by the Jesuits and the Dominicans and considers St. Joseph his patron.