He roamed quarries at Carrara
caressing blocks of marble, tracing veins
like a blind man
to find the Virgin within. Here,
the limp arm hangs; here,
the bent head of the mother;
here, her murdered son.
He coaxed her from stone
chiseling in her face the memory of
Simeon's prophecy of a sword piercing her heart:
a wholly inadequate portent for this,
this hammer of death
harder than marble.