After a series of litanies, I am ready to die.
I am holding those things that will only suffice
For a day, after one journey over
No food, only a few drops of liquid to wet my throat
No movement inside my body. In me frozen.
Maybe, near death —
When the lights were on, the air went cold
The doors banged the walls
Latch and locks opened just in wars;
And darkness brushed our seats numb in fright!
Ah death, may be near
The archer next to me, guards like St. Michael
His hands were swift and strong
But no feelings, like in war
My fingers numb too, no shivers, just palms
Waiting for God’s mercy and flame.
I could cry a flood of storms
But no, we have all struggled here
That old woman with a box, is a dragon
Her son, a monument of young blood
Her daughter, meek of heart
And the rest, holding on to an angel’s promise.
I couldn’t close my eyes; eye and soul open
In the night, heart beating fast, mind awake
Hands clasping and counting hours until dawn, in
The hour of bliss and grace.
I could remember the wails in Hondagua
When doors were locked and windows closed
And now — everything in the open
Snakes and terrorists might bite and bomb
But then, in the hand of the archer
I felt safe. But then, I couldn’t lay my head for comfort.
Even in my last breath, as I could still hold my packs in
danger: No sleeping because my husband is waiting.
Honor for God is honoring a vow
Even in the most trying times, even near death
Like soldiers fighting for a country
Like brothers fighting for truth
Like marriage, untainted in grace
I shouldn’t be the one; I am not the one worthy
Of these promises – I like to leave my cause
The agonies are horrible – but I must take the last train
I am boarded for this trip, and so, I have to go.
Weak knees, but daring heart to take an arrow
The archer with me – until I fall…
St. Michael, pray for us.
St. Hannibal, pray for us.
St. Peter, pray for us.
St. Benedict, pray for us.
Mama Mary, pray for us.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, we trust in you.
And so the Father of all, comes in prayers
In Train 69.
/for erick/for vocations/for you