Night before Ash Wednesday, 2020

by Patrice M. Wilson

Not that midnight is so very dark
inside my dimly lighted sleepless room,
white sheets upon my bed not quite as pale
as what’s so thoroughly painted white around me;

not that darkness is so bleak or frightening
full of bad dreams that need a timely end
or yet the soulless pain one braves alone;

no, none of these realities describe 
one’s suffering self before the unseen strength
impalpable inside one’s soul
and everywhere within,

where blackness promises a gentle rest,
its beauty there a way of being whole.

Born Catholic in Newark NJ, raised in Catholic schools, Patrice M. Wilson has a PhD in English from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, having earned her MA there and her BA at the University of Maryland, College Park. She was editor of the very fine Hawaii Pacific Review for 16 years while teaching at Hawaii Pacific University. She has three chapbooks of poetry with Finishing Line Press, and one full-length poetry collection with Christian publisher eLectio Publishing. Dr. Wilson recently spent five years in the cloistered Carmelite monastery in Kaneohe, HI. She is now a retired professor living in Mililani, Oahu, HI.

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