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Sunday, August 20, 2017


by Sister Lou Ella Hickman

solidarity’s question: who will embrace such present sorrow    
               I am only one, but still I am one . . . but I can do something.
                         —Edward Everett Hale, "Lend a Hand"

                                i sit here
                                alone in the chapel
                                a dark desert night
                                                Jesus, have mercy on me a great sinner
                                i breathe in   then out
                                                Jesus, have mercy on us
                                i breathe  slower
                                                Jesus, have mercy on me a great sinner
                                slower    into   the   dark
                                                Jesus, have mercy on us
                                the clock chimes the quarter hour
                                                Jesus, have mercy on me a great sinner
                                i sit before All Hunger, Thirst and Longing
                                   to plead   in the silence    for grace among the violences
                                                Jesus, have mercy

Sister Lou Ella Hickman, a member of the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament, has been a teacher on all levels including college, and she has worked in two libraries.  Presently, she is a freelance writer as well as a certified spiritual director. Her poems and articles have been published in numerous magazines as well as in After Shocks: Poetry of Recovery for Life-Shattering Events edited by Tom Lombardo and in Down to the Dark River and The Southern Quarterly both edited by Philp Kolin. She and Pam Edwards co-authored Catechizing with Liturgical Symbols. Her first book of poetry, she: robed and wordless, published by Press 53, was released in the fall of 2015.