Beautiful Cloth

by Maryella Desak Sirmon

The Reverend Canon Sister Rosina Ampah, OSH is an Episcopal priest and life-professed member of the Order of St Helena. She is the author of The Beautiful Cloth, stories and proverbs of her native Ghana.  She resides at the Convent of St Helena in South Carolina.

Her wisdom strides
from places of discomfort,
claimed by her,
changed by her,
easing those in her care 
over the rough ground,
lest we stumble on hidden stones.
Her knees bear burdens,
back bends with the ache of age,
though the weight of years 
becomes as nothing
when lost in redeeming joy.
Her heart delights
in hope and history, 
memories and myth,
the sweetness of stories
remembered and retold,
woven with care and prayer
into a beautiful cloth.
She carries her daughters
to the door and teaches
how to knock, how to ask,
when we cannot see a way
or understand the questions.
Her cincture binds
with an enduring braid of love.

Maryella Desak Sirmon is a wife, mother, physician, and poet.  She serves as Chalice Bearer and Lector in her church. Much of her work has been scribbled at odd hours on paper scraps found in the pocket of a white coat. She has an abiding interest in the world we live in, the stories we tell each other, and the art of medicine. Her poetry and essay have been published in The Annals of Internal Medicine, The Oracle Fine Arts ReviewOctober Hill Magazine, Pulse – Voices of Medicine, The Poet, Deep South Magazine, Delta Poetry Review and three anthologies. Her work has been reprinted in This Side of Doctoring and The Arduous Touch. She has work forthcoming in The Annals of Internal Medicine and a fourth anthology, The America Collection.

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