This week’s poem in the Catholic Poetry Room is by Jeffrey Essmann.

Before Mass

we sit there
kneel there
hearts thrown open
(maybe joyful)
within the orb of prayer,
its warming grace
enfolding us
and pointing
deep within
to teach us each
to read the passion there;

somewhere behind me
somewhere near
i hear someone
a woman
who whispers something
only God can hear;
i catch alone
the tender roll
of word on word
the subtle sibilance
of faint and fitful plea;
and ask the Lord
if all my needs
(so blind, so deaf)
might please be joined
to hers.

Originally appeared in Agape Review.

Jeffrey Essmann is an essayist and poet living in New York. His poetry has appeared in numerous magazines and literary journals, among them Agape Review, America Magazine, Dappled Things, the St. Austin Review, U.S. Catholic, Grand Little Things, Heart of Flesh Literary Journal, and various venues of the Benedictine monastery with which he is an oblate. He is editor of the Catholic Poetry Room page on the Integrated Catholic Life website.

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