The Patron Saints of Mercy

Thinking, this day, of the child saint
I met in St. Martinville. She reminded
me of St. Therese as she placed a white
rose at my feet. A parrot called Jean Batiste,
who lived with his owner, an aging bartender,
in a trailer behind the bar. His cage nested among
daily news and Miller Lite. And my dear Evangeline
who touched me so. Her branches outgrown and poignant
as she waited along the riverbank until her body became earth.

When I was young, there was never enough.
Now, forgiveness is abundant. It shows itself
in a round, seed-filled watermelon.
In the dropped petals of flowers that remind me
of grandmother’s garden, mother’s Forsythia.

The present is bright, lush, and certainly mine.

My dream self gazed at her mirrored self.
She was young, not beautiful, but happy.

Susan Ward Trestrail, 2017

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