Dead in body but not in soul, Agnes
drove her spirit to span the galaxies,
from quasar to super cluster,
though no one on earth took notice.

Frayed at the edges was the cot
she had scavenged for sleep.
Deserted and neglected was the lonely
brick house on that desolate street,
where her room in the basement stretched
thin the limits of abandoned consolations.

Yet closet of prayer it was, this sad sinking
abode, her decaying cathedral in the heart
of a ghetto of dread, a shack of old stones
bridging nebulae whose diameters could span
the space across a thousand solar systems.

Agnes never thought of the stars above.
She did not need to. Prayer worked.
Power flowed. In that hope she had faith.
Over the years she had seen it happen,
the rising and falling of dynasties and
kingdoms, the flood of miracles.

Barely did her flesh cast a shadow
on the limed-over bricks in this room,
walls that had witnessed sorrow and suffering,
violence and blood, the horrors of death,
indifference and forgotten dreams, scorned plans,
shattered hope, lost time. In spite of this oppression,
Agnes uttered much prayer.

No human eyes saw her hands aflutter,
but angels inscribed each spoken phrase.
And when Agnes raised her arms in praise,
starry systems parted, paths appeared between
heaven and earth; armies marched to do
God's will, and the universe tottered on
the brink of destruction.

Agnes worshiped Jehovah-Nissi—
the powers of darkness shuddered in terror.
Great was their fear at the slightest moving
of her old parched lips.


Copyright 2010 Robert E. Romanelli, PhD