Feast of Saint Claire, 2012
I forgot to call P. from the airport in New York
On the way out to Congo
Yesterday running around trying to get things
In order I rang her and got
To leave a message
And later while I was between prison and the grocery store
She texted: she was sorry she hadn’t been around
She was in chemo
I did not know
D.’s sleeping through his days and his weeks now
He is no longer able to do what he did do his whole life
A. says so
The tumor is growing again: nothing left to try and do
He’s falling all the time: God—why—
Does this come to so kind and gentle a man?
I do not know
I came back from so much abroad to find all this at home
And I came back too late to even pretend to think that
I could have made a difference
And now I am leaving in the midst of this
To try to tackle theology far away
When Life’s class right here is almost over
And this time it ends in pass/fail
No taking it over
Next time I am back this way—who knows?
Next time—who cares? Who will be around?
I came back—why?
I do not now seem to know
There’s the cell phone plus Skype
There are the possible emails
Praying the Ave Maria
… nunc, et in hora mortis nostrae.
Praying D.’s favorite prayer
By Thomas Merton
MY LORD GOD,
I have no idea where I am going…
…I will not fear,
for you are ever with me,
and you will never leave me
to face my perils alone.