writers to worship

writers to worship

Sofia Builds a Shrine
by Joan Logghe

During her middle years
When the children looked
All glowing and strong
Like pups, like colts,
she and her husband stood
frayed and tattered
at the back of the photographs
They looked older then
than at retirement

She needed more
than frozen corn
and mended jeans,
a cure beyond dried herbs
manzanilla and alhucema

She stole time from summer
A thief of after work minutes
and the baby in bed
the two older ones
fighting over dishes.
Her husband stood smoking on the porch
beside himself with sunset

East of the house
quiet among pinons
she drew a crescent with her foot
so that the moon would fall
full face rising, on the Virgin.
The statue she bought in town,
called her in whispers, Lupita.

On Sundays, they picked rocks.
The kids ran the arroyos
tossed stones onto the pick-up bed
and rode home squabbling.
Sofia touched them each
then sent them in for lemonade,
sorted granite and limestone.

She domed the nicho
and in wet mortar stuck
bits of broken glass
in rays to catch the sun,
a corona of daylight

Next spring she planted
a few beans at the base
some blue corn
each with a blessing,
And she went wild with flowers
double petunias
Crackerjack marigolds.

On dark nights she said many prayers.
Wrote some on paper scraps
tucked under the rocks.
She’d bring sea shells, ribbons,
and milagros. Whatever pleased her
she’d bring, and many votive candles
burned and shined.

People say
Sofia seems younger
since she built that shrine,
a rose, blooming out of season.


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