Friday, August 12, 2016


The Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine

Noon is heralded by the bell tower's toll;
most continue as tourists, unaware of the call to prayer.
I stop, wipe St. Augustine sweat from my brow,
(no similarity to Millet's two peasants
thankful for a small basket of potatoes)
shift purchased trinkets growing heavy.

Lowcountry's Baptist has carved Flemish oak
and marble altars of white Vermont,
but standing beneath four evangelists
with my Old City Market sweetgrass basket,
if I'm honest, I'm thankful for the blessed cool air.

Southern heat is historical in and of itself;
never mind preserved architecture
and stories of the past - affluent or otherwise.
Stepping into these respites from daily grind,
I feel guilty admiring stain glass windows and sanctuaries.

In the deep south, tucked away within Savannah's charming grid,
my youngest son prays before Mother Mary - straw hat upon his head.
I glance at the gentleman who labeled my sweet boy
disrespectful; dare him to press the matter.
He doesn't - and somehow I believe Jesus is pleased.

by Margaret Bednar, August 12, 2016

The "offending" hat that he didn't want to take off...
I always try and visit the Catholic Cathedrals and Basilicas in the cities I visit.  St. Augustine, Charleston and Savannah figure in this poem.  I have to confess, I've visited New York quite a few times and have yet to step inside St. Patrick's Cathedral - I've walked by it many times and have experienced huge Catholic guilt.  I will make sure I attend Mass the next time I go.

This is for "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Get Listed for August" - pick three cities I have visited and write about them so I wrote about memories of different Catholic churches I have visited on my travels.

Jean-Francois Millet


Gillena Cox said...

Lovely tale.

much love...

brudberg said...

I do think the beauty of a cathedral has a lot of city in it, at the same time it's totally separated... maybe it's like a separation of words you have... the world inside and the one outside...

Mama Zen said...

The last two stanzas are so perfect! I love this.

Outlawyer said...

A very sweet narrative. Thanks, Margaret. k .

patchouli moonflower said...

I love the last stanza.

Stacie Eirich said...

Yes, I absolutely feel this poem in my bones, having visited and sung in many cathedrals -- and also feeling the Southern heat seep into my skin, and welcome of a cool breeze. The breeze, like the cathedral, is indeed a sanctuary. And yes, Jesus loves the little children -- there is only sweetness in the way he wears his hat and prays. What a wonderful moment, and a lovely poem. Thanks for sharing.