St. Damien of Molokai

Official Selection
UNITED NATIONS WORLD  INTERFAITH HARMONY  WEEK


 
  St. Damien of Molokai


At the base of a steep-cliff world

too high for stumps
and crippled clumps
of wrists and toes
to span

They marked their time with missing hands

The leper, the better
ugly and covered with sores.

Then on that isle of degradation
surged the vilest of predation

Humans hunted humans

They stole from the dying
and slapped the trying
and cursed the world as a lie

For no one cared
and help them none dared

But one
a son

who by the workings of pull and loin
approached them over the water

and finding them frail figures
upon a broken vase
he knelt
to brace
them piece by piece
with his own life
as fixative

confluvium, oh!

particle
adhaesio

he knew, he knew
cognitio

even though leprosy eats the skin
the human still remains within

And so it was Damien of Molokai
dwelled in the leper land
and with odd, but sure, reciprocity

when the lover became a leper
the lepers became the loved.



Copyright
2012 Mary Ann Sullivan