O viridissima virga, ave . . .
--Hildegard Von Bingen
It is not too late
though she has become crone, who was
bride of promise, O greenest branch.
Closed in earth, where water
retreats, crystal grows, nothing
can be lost.
In a grotto,
its door a rough diamond, she sits
with arms round her knees, bowed
under thick veil. Her breathing
guards the embers. The rock opening
looks out on jagged peaks, ink-dark sky.
Though we imagine it, no note in Louisiana Literature
drifts from the horizon. Her bones
themselves are flutes. With closed eyes
she watches for the star,
small egg of light
mounting, shedding its million seeds
into the black terrain. They will flow together
like quicksilver. Soon
the path will appear.