It’s not that it’s unusual
for the saints to visit my dreams.
It’s just that they usually come
with so much inelegant baggage.
Francis once shuffled up to the screen door
caked in red clay dust,
trailed by a dozen woodland creatures
who raided my cupboards
for bread, nuts, and honey
while he wearily brushed himself off
on the shag rug.
Teresa came from Avila
to overhaul the order of my bookshelves,
tidy my desk,
and express her serious concern
over my straying devotions.
She hovered during vigils,
commenting discreetly on my general level of distraction.
I was relieved when she left,
even as the warm aura of mothering
retreated with her.
But last night Therese of Lisieux
settled down beside me
on the cement curb
in cutoff shorts,
and handed me a purple popsicle.
She stretched her pale, thin legs
out into the street
to feel the summer sun,
and set to silent study
of the sparkling mica flecks in the pavement.
After some time,
she reached into her pocket
and pulled out a crust of bread.
“I’m still practicing, you know.
They have to let me do it some day.”
And she blessed the bread, broke it,
and embraced me with her eyes
as she offered it to me.