Even though I’ve been negligent about posting lately, I have been catching up on my blog reading. During this week of holy days, one poem I keep going back to is my Chicago poet-friend Marilyn Cavicchia’s “Maybe the Rosemary.” In this piece, she sneaks up on the sacred in the shoes of her young children. She used that quietly brilliant stealth last week, too, in her magnificent poem “In the Beginning, There Was”–so please click back to her home page to enjoy that one, as well (I’m looking at *you*, Mr. Abu).
Happy Passover, Happy Easter, peace to you, peace to all, “cage free.”

Marilyn Rauch Cavicchia

Time to write about religion now,
after buying bananas and escarole,
after passing up a rosemary plant
that was blooming, which I have
never seen, which sent me on a
whole series of associations
(gardens, my mother, whose name
was Rosemary; she was a pilgrim
in the garden, always a transplant
and always seeking something—
blooming vigor, a pleasant surprise
brought about by her own two hands:
Oops! Look at that—this thing I have
tended, not even knowing for sure what
it was, is now exploding in splendor.)
But anyway, I was buying onions
and carrots, basil and bread,
showing Betty, my daughter,
how the eggs we buy are cage free,
certified humane. I was cringing
at my ostentatiousness, how I
justify myself out loud, and my
children were fighting, mainly
Joseph, my son, relentlessly
needling Betty because he is
smaller and knows he is smaller.
They both…

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6 comments on “

  1. Thanks so much, Jennifer! I’m so thrilled that you liked this enough to share it in this way. And sneaking up on the sacred is an apt description of what I’ve been doing all month. 🙂

    • One reason I admire your stealth technique, Marilyn, is that my own approach to the sacred tends to be to march up to it and yell, “WTF?! Make sense!” Your approach strikes me as more subtly attentive to the mysteries.

      Have you got any more of these poems up your sleeve? I’m looking forward to whatever you post!

      • That’s my tendency, too … Or to shut it down because I’m not completely on board. So this month has been a surprise, to find out how deeply I actually feel, even if I can’t fully align with organized religion or even belief in an actual deity. I don’t know what I have faith in, exactly, but it’s clear that I do.

        There are many others in this month-long series — I’m aiming to pull a chapbook together. I’m also relieved to be so close to the end — it’s tough for me to be so honest for so long. I only allowed myself one persona poem this month … mostly “I” have been I.

      • Interesting to hear you discuss the difference between the “I” and the persona modes. And I can’t wait to read that chapbook!

  2. I feel I am eavesdropping, but I was captivated by Marilyn’s poem too. And then to read your comments to one another was intimate and enlightening. The sacred has informed many of my poems and it was an angel I wrestled with for a number of years. I look forward too to Marilyns chapbook. Thanks for letting me drop in! Kathleen

    • Hi, Kathleen–“eavesdropping” is how great conversations can start. And I love how these multi-way connections happen on the web! I look forward to exploring further on your beautiful blog and getting to know your poems.

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