I Am As Nothing. - Poem by Terry Collett
I am as nothing, said Sister Clare;
I am a tool in the Lord’s hands, His
Words wake me from sleep, His
Utterance disperses my dreams.
I wake to the birds’ chorus, the sun
Rises at my elbow, the moon goes
As my eyes take sight. I dress while
Uttering an Ave, wash the night from
My eyes and skin, sense the waters’
Coldness through my fingers’ hold.
From my window I see the cranberry
Tree in the cloister garth; early birds
Perched in the branches, sunlight
Flittering through the green leaves.
Sister Blaise stares up at the sky, her
Hands hidden beneath her habit’s cloth,
Her head to one side. God sees all, my
Mother said, He knows you better than
You know yourself, knows your thoughts
Like a well read book, He understands
Your ways and wants, marks your sins
In the big black book. I leave my room,
Walk down the stairs to the cloister’s
Path, run my palm on the wall’s rough
Brick, my feet taking the steady step,
My blue eyes lowered, my thoughts run
Off like children at play. I gather my
Thoughts like a shepherd his sheep,
I pen them tight into my skull’s sides.
Flowers in the flowerbeds pull my eyes,
Yellows and reds and blues feed my mind.
Sister Rose stands by the bell, her hands
Holding the rough rope, her eyes lit up like
Candles at night, her smile like a child’s kiss.
I pass her by with a gentle nod, taking note
Of her fingers’ hold. I enter the church with
A steady pace, smell incense on the air’s skin;
See sunlight through high windows, beaming
Down on the choir stalls and cold stone floor.
I sit and wait for matins to begin, wait for my
Bruised groom carrying the whole world’s sin.
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