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.
What next, she wonders, with the angel disappearing, and her room suddenly gone dark.
The loneliness of her news possesses her. She ponders how to tell her mother.
Still, the secret at her heart burns like a sun rising. How to hold it in— that which cannot be contained.
She nestles into herself, half-convinced it was some kind of good dream, she its visionary.
But then, part dazzled, part prescient— she hugs her body, a pod with a seed that will split her.
Study war no more
Mar 18, 2011
Michael Izbicki grew up in a nondenominational church in California. A National Merit Scholarship finalist, he chose to go to the U.S. Naval Academy out of a sense of duty to his country during a time of war. At the naval academy he began to doubt whether the career to which he had committed himself could be squared with the tenets of just war doctrine. He got in trouble when he responded no to this exam question: "If given the order, would you launch a missile carrying a nuclear warhead?" After a four-year legal battle, the navy discharged him as a conscientious objector. Izbicki may have to reimburse the service for part or all of his education (New York Times, February 22).