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Friday, February 14, 2014


by William Ruleman

Saint Valentine baptizing Saint Lucilla by Jacopo Bassano

There might have been two of you,
But whether either existed,
No one knows for sure.
Dismissing petty facts,
One finds your stories true:
The evil have ever resisted
Those whose hearts are pure
And dedicated to acts
Of healing like your own.
You had the power to cure,
And in this, you persisted,
And for this are not alone.

In fact, your numbers are many;
Your foes, detractors, legion;
Those you have healed, more so
(They hail from countless lands).
Turning up like a good penny
In dreariest town or region
To let the sickest know
How laying on of hands
Can clear the clouded eye
And cool the fevered brow,
Dispelling the wish to die;
You are with us even now.

William Ruleman is Professor of English at Tennessee Wesleyan College, and his poems have appeared in numerous journals, including, most recently, in The Galway Review, Innisfree Poetry Journal,  The Pennsylvania Review, and The Road Not Taken.