In 1922, following three deadly hurricanes that devastated Key West, Sister Louis Gabriel of St. Mary, Star of the Sea, built a grotto on the grounds of the church, seeking protection from the Blessed Mother.She promised that Key West would never again experience the full brunt of a hurricane.Ninety years and counting...
Wet back streets, buchi in hand, I pass
Christmas palms, bent with goodwill,
and orange poinciana, shelter for tin roofs
as summer assaults our little lanes.
When the winds come, we christen them;
board up all the windows, bar the doors.
Candles, prayers to Mary, star of the sea,
we trust in kneeling, and in nails, for love.