Catholic Poetry Room
This week’s poem in the Catholic Poetry Room is by Marjorie Maddox.


“Everybody today seems to be in such a terrible rush. . . .
in the home begins the disruption of peace in the world.”
—Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Mother Teresa keeps
strumming and singing
Chapin’s “Cat’s in the
Cradle” in my hustle-
and-bustle on-constant-
replay dream where I

never get to where I’m
trying to go, that universal
workaholic nightmare, don’t-
step-on-the-cracks reality is
reality, the everyday kind
of power-walking the turn

around the corner that’s one
big square of Tantalus-tempting
glaring future that hasn’t started
yet, never will, those damned
cracks thinking we have time
for fear, which, of course, is

all our time, these constant
blocks building apprehension
after apprehension, until sure
enough, there’s no room left
for cracks, our one way to hear
Mother T’s needed song.

Originally published in US Catholic.

Winner of America Magazine‘s 2019 Foley Poetry Prize and Professor of English and Creative Writing at Lock Haven University, Marjorie Maddox has published 11 collections of poetry—including Transplant, Transport, Transubstantiation(Yellowglen Prize; re-issued 2018 Wipf and Stock); True, False, None of the Above (Illumination Book Award Medalist); Local News from Someplace Else; Perpendicular As I (Sandstone Book Award)—the short story collection What She Was Saying (Fomite); the children’s books A Crossing of Zebras: Animal Packs in Poetry(2008) and Rules of the Game: Baseball Poems (2009); Common Wealth: Contemporary Poets on Pennsylvania (co-editor; PSU Press); Presence: A Journal of Catholic Poetry (assistant editor); and 550+ stories, essays, and poems in journals and anthologies. The recipient of numerous awards and Pushcart Prize nominations in both poetry and fiction, she gives readings and workshops around the country, including at Franciscan University, LeMoyne College, Wheaton College, Penn State University, and elsewhere.

Print this entry