Two Poems of a Chaplain

In-Service with Robert Fox, C.P.T.

“Poetic Medicine” Seminar, March 19, 2009


 #1:  “I hold her hand and I breathe”

I hold her hand and I breathe,

Her skin thinned from years of wear,

Yet fingers strong even with fading warmth.

She breathes once, silence lingers;

I count reaching thirty.

Her chest expands, once, twice.

I count again and I imagine

A girl of 16, 18, what dreams

Now lie dormant,

Which fulfilled, which never grasped

Yet a lifetime lived.


#2: “When someone deeply listens to me” 

When someone deeply listens to me,

Tendrils, delicate, weave, probe

The places of softened mortar,

Through my life’s jumbled stone walls.

It is surprise for I am the Listener.

But now those tendrils burrow,

Burrow, not to invade but to invite, to draw

My voice to be a tendril, too, into the

Warmth and light that joins our souls.

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