Well, the aged mother of the woman who married me died, And there are so many stories both sad and hilarious to tell, But let me tell you just one, because it is little and not little. At her Mass, after the miracle, but before the electric bread Went into every soul, as people are shuffling slowly toward The altar, everyone in the line on the left side, as they came To the front pew, touched my wife. Some bent down to hug Her. Some touched her hair gently. Some just placed a hand On her shoulder. One woman reached down and cupped her Face in her hands for an instant. Sure I wept. We touch each Other when we have no other way to speak. We speak many Languages without words. We are so much wilder and wiser Than we know. There are so very many of us without words, Speaking the most amazing and eloquent languages; we sing With our hands. I have seen it happen. You have seen it, too. It's a little thing, but there's a shimmer of something beyond Vast. See, I am trying to say an epic thing in this small poem, And here we are at the end of the poem, where I stop talking.
Brian Doyle is editor of Portland magazine at the University of Portland. He is the author of Leaping: Revelations and Epiphanies. He recently wrote A Shimmer of Something: Lean Stories of Spiritual Substance.
A. M. Stroud III, a former prosecutor in Louisiana, expresses regret for the role he played in sending Glenn Ford to death row in 1984. “I was 33 years old. I was arrogant, judgmental, narcissistic and very full of myself. I was not as interested in justice as I was in winning.” Stroud says he presented dubious evidence from a forensic pathologist, precluded black jurors from the trial (Ford, since exonerated, is black), and ignored the fact that the appointed defense attorney had never before tried a criminal or capital case. “I . . . hope that providence will have more mercy for me than I showed Glenn Ford,” Stroud said in a letter to the editor of the Times of Shreveport. “But, I’m also sobered by the realization that I certainly am not deserving of it” (ABA Journal, March 25).