Things Wished For

He learned as a child
To be silent
On buses and trains,
Or as a passenger
On a long car trip,
In his monk’s space,
Making up events
That never were:
A mother who spoke garlands,
A father who felt grief,
A older brother who had no ambition,
A nun who had bad penmanship,
A host that bled
On his first-communion suit
To let him know
That redemption was real—-
All repackaged in the odor
Of things wished for.
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