From the archives – commemorating the visit of Pope Francisco to Fatima, Portugal

#NaPoWriMo17 April 1 – Our Lady of the Hidden Rivers

Bless us, our lady of the hidden rivers –
rivers that flood and ebb – like tides –
flowing out to the sea and back

into our hearts. Surrounded by a soft light,
our lady wears a cactus cloth, a clam shell
from the oceans that mothered

and blessed the secret rivers. Our lady likes
the latte we serve her – decaf expresso
and Colombia mild roast – creamy,

frothy, smooth to the taste. We’ll see her again
with Mohammed’s daughter. The three children –
Jacinto, Francisco, Lucia – witnessed the vision.

They are blessed. Later, it’s a long bus ride
and a longer walk up a mountain path
to Montserrat, to stand in line to see

the glass-encased statue of the black virgin.
We kiss the hand that holds the sphere.
It’s worth the pain to be with her again.

Bless us, our lady of the hidden rivers,
hear our prayers, soothe all our pains away.

(Guadalupe – Wadi al-Luden – Hidden River)


Author: Raymond Maxwell Librarian, archivist-in-training, retired foreign service officer and Navy veteran.

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