on St. Thomas








        Euridice Rising


                             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.