Dear St. Joseph

When I think of you,

I think of your troubled sleep

and many hard choices.

I see you at night

in the desert,

getting Mary to safety.

And later, again, the three of you in flight,

pyramids looming in the distance.

In all the Gospels you never once opened your mouth.

You didn’t have to. Your actions said it all.

For you were, as all could see,

faithful in all things.

You know I’m not, but would like to be,

so I ask, meekly, that you pray for me

that I might be

in more than just my mind.

You have given me to pray

You have given me to pray

and it’s like a slow tornado.

I’m sucked up in circles

and at the top am in the sun

and I say,

“Take me! Take me!”

But no, now I know

it’s not a prayer.

It’s a poem and me

fleeing again. I see

the people I love

and so slide down to them

through the last of the poem,

that old fire escape we had at school.