Aquinas one day at his daily Mass
Was swept into a moment of such bliss
As to all human language quite surpass,
Description mute before its bright abyss.
And afterward the Doctor there and then,
Still inward trembling with a holy awe,
Laid down forevermore his sainted pen,
Declaring all he’d writ as naught but straw.
If that be so I’m writing with a rake
And verse like fodder piling into stacks.
The path to God I thought my words might make
Are more the carpet of a cattle track.
And yet I pray this straw of mine might raise
A choir of scarecrows, voices sere with praise.
Jeffrey Essmann is an essayist and poet living in New York. His work has appeared in numerous magazines and literary journals, among them America Magazine, Dappled Things, the St. Austin Review and The Road Less Traveled. He is a Benedictine oblate of Mt. Saviour Monastery.