The Two Pillars of the World

(or Go Tell Aunt Rhody)


She is the shortcut artist;

The gumball gambler,

The soap bubble wizard of magic beans.


He is the Judge

The circuit preacher

On the flea-bitten mule,

The bony finger warning

Of what’s right gone wrong.

St. John on his technicolor Patmos

A good knight in search of his fellows


You wait for her like God, puzzled.

Why won’t she come to the sunny spot,

Paint her life for all to see in the square?


You watch as she shops for steak

And extension cords.  Stays in the

Bathroom too long. Sleeps into morning light.

What is wrong with her?

Her boxes of glinting diamonds

She tries to burn in the fire as coal.


She plugs the plumbing up with poems.

Her bright horn gathers mummy dust

In the back room.


Where is the gate to the garden of her lush self?


Her horse withers in the desert,

Unable to find water or shade.


You have led her by the hand

Out of the swirling wrestle of her

Mind, put up with her broken, glass-

Toothed progenitors but there

Seems to be no end of the war for



She fights the lagoon creature pulling

On her bare leg in green, murky water

But she tires.  With a fervent prayer

To the sacred heart of Jesus, she lets go:

Struggling to appear self-possessed and

Full of knowledge while drowning.


At the bottom of the moss pond she bows,

Then prostrates herself inside what must be

Her soul—if it is truly hers.


Silence leaks in like jasmine smoke.

She disappears, even as she comes to herself.


Morning light brings a face up out

Among the lily pads.  You marvel at her

Truthful eyes, its sleek clarity of form.

Seeking only you, she rises with newborn

Grace showered in tender sun, now winged.


She will soar with you now.