Poem: “Broken Cisterns” by Mary Francis

Broken Cisterns

He is as zephyred winds upon the soul,
They said,
And cloudless cloister skies
Yawn over the galeless haven of the heart.

Strange, no one said His love would be
A vague unrest in all my deepest peace…

They spoke with sighs of flowery cloister ways
And of His smile
Like satin songs of evening.

But not a word was ever said of how
His gentle eyes would flog away repose,
And no one ever mentioned how His voice would thunder
Down my cool-seated caverns of compromise

My hands, according to their counsel sheltered
For quiet prayer, they never told would bleed
With steep ascents’ crag clinging, and the feet
They set to flower bordered ways
They never said would know
Of black rocks’ tearing, torturous paths
Among forbidden trees

No, no one even hinted at the swords of His demand
That part the flesh from bone and leave the heart
Riven with a wild and white desire.
And no one knows except He once has heard
That loud, imperious call in His own heart
And left all padded satisfaction for the climb
That knows no peak. But this is all of joy.

-Mother Mary Francis