Bronwen Tate



cords which bind
a blameless life
of the direction

When all the closets smelled like incense from Mt. Athos, I exalted in hide-and-go-seek. Hours when we didn't eat endued the dried fruit and salted nuts with intoxicating qualities. I was clothed in black-watch plaid and saddle shoes. Set amidst holy water, rocks from Jerusalem, prayer ropes, were sometimes photographs. The hit-and-miss translations that adorned my early chanting are with me still.


the arms reaching
folded in two
conduct any double-
portion of grace

When what pours involves evergreen bows and hagios in triplicate, it is best to wear warm clothes. Afterwards, I ran dizzy, at the hour when the angle of the sun makes light feet.


greater freedom
of movement
readiness to serve
the towel

Cement girds the relocated beams saved from ashes by semi-trucks and boldness. The earth removed in support makes a small duck-pond.


bonds of
lacing up

In the days when I glorified in blackberry scratches and blueberry forts, there was always something to drop. It rarely snowed, but the grass was sometimes crunchy with frost, and there were iced-over puddles to shatter. I crushed red bricks, intending to make paint with the dust. Home-made play-dough is saltier. I also molded small figurines out of wax, warmed between my palms while they told the story. Given the background, it is not surprising that various transformations were required. I learned most of it when we were invited over for dinner and he answered questions.


recalls the purple
ribbons the streams
lost sheep
found and lay

If he was clothed in a black robe, I was probably clothed in sweat pants and gum boots. One Easter, I shouted myself so hoarse that I could only whisper in school the next day.

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