The Rosary Poems: Joyful Alison Shaffer


To offer a sacrifice according to
what is said in the law. LUKE 2:24

She listens: two doves in their temple
of cage—like the child, newly named,
who has yet a child’s palms and toes,
a child’s mouth to discover them—two
doves purr soft eulogy of separation
and slow return, though she still clings
white and wavering as to the hilt
of a heavy sword. The doves tuck up
their empty wings, feathers stilled
and not yet flecked with blood.


February 2005 2River