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A Metaphor for Mary


There is a small spot of light on the bark of the ash tree.

In winter the bark is subtle, smooth, a non-color. 

And this light spot glows as if lit from within, a tiny beacon among the darker trunks.  

If it were not for the shadows, I would never have noticed the light.

The Maine woods are dark in December and the morning sun is sent to us 

from islands across the Atlantic, and we ourselves send it on, 

rippling through the plains and over the mountains 

to the islands of the Pacific and beyond and beyond,

until it passes through the branches of an ash tree in Ireland,

to alight on the trunk of an ash tree in Maine. 

The light never dies. 

The shadows keep it living.