A Plain Song For Comadre
Though the unseen may vanish, though insight
And doubter and downcast saint
Join in the same complaint,
What holy things were ever frightened off
By a fly's buzz, or itches, or a cough?
Harder than nails
They are, more warmly constant than the sun,
At whose continual sign
The dimly prompted vine
Upbraids itself to a green excellence.
What evening, when the slow and forced
Of sweat is done,
Does not the dark come flooding the straight
Or filling the well-made bowl?
What night will not the whole
Sky with its clear studs and steady spheres
Turn on a sound chimney? It is seventeen
That Bruna Sandoval has kept the church
Of San Ysidro, sweeping
And scrubbing the aisles, keeping
The candlesticks and the plaster faces bright,
And seen no visions but the thing done right
>From the clay porch
To the white altar.
For love and in all weathers
This is what she has done.
Sometimes the early sun
Shines as she flings the scrubwater out, with a
Of grimy rainbows, and the stained studs flash