Perfection can only be seen in the descent,

the glow of spotlights colliding to true whiteness,

the realization that grief touches the ground.


Mary, they say, you never experienced birth pains,

but the linen folded eternally beneath your son

shows that his final blessing transferred all  to you.


Your tears wash his feet, and I imagine,

you wiping them dry with your hair,

a doting act of love he passed to his disciples.


Your grief remains in your soul.

Only the pain is collected in

the last descent of angels.


I feel the slow bump when

the descent must hit the earth,

the slight stumble to awkward reality.


I wash my feet everyday to honor

the perfect glory I’ve been blessed to see.



This is a memory of the 1964 World’s Fair where I saw the Pieta in the descent of an escalator.  it lasted all of fifteen seconds, roughly the time it takes to read the poem.

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