Sacramentum Exeuntium (Grandma)

through the holy anointing of oil
do the dead pass silently on
in the presence of the bread that gives life,
in the presence of the blood shed for it

grandma departs away from this home
to the next as one made royal,
though she came of blood and water
this new birth proclaims some new one,
one once servant, now reborn Queen

these, these hands, these lips and ears,
this nose and mouth and feet that receive
a priestly seal
did once receive a life lived
of children and grandchildren;
of good and bad and every broken thing;
of lovers and mother and father;
of cheese sandwich lunches
with mushroom soup to dip;
of ginger ale and offers of money
with words whispered against protest
no take it, take it...”

these, these hands, these lips and ears,
this nose and mouth that have closed…
a mere blink and now reopened
to take in a different glory anew
never again to hear or need the words
you are forgiven
nor plead each day’s needs anew
but only gloria, gloria, gloria
ever healed, ever alive…

in nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spirtus Sancti.

Amen.

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