The Communion Call

by Jeffrey Essmann

The fetid food had all been cleared away;
The widescreen TV darkened for the nonce
With all of its attendant Babylons.
We crossed ourselves and I said, “Let us pray”
And somehow in that sordid disarray,
She in that dirty armchair there ensconced,
We bowed our heads as gracefully as swans
And asked the Father’s blessing on our day.
Upon reception of the sacred host,
She’d pinch her eyes determinedly closed,
Almost, I thought at times, as if in pain.
And pain (at least a type) it may have been:
The ache profound we don’t quite ascertain
Until we’ve let love accidentally in.

Jeffrey Essmann is an essayist and poet living in New York. His poetry has appeared in numerous magazines and literary journals, among them America MagazineDappled Things, the St. Austin ReviewU.S. Catholic, Grand Little Things 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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