holiness :: kateri kosek
in three starlings out the window,
bathing in snowmelt this damp winter day.
On the icy path worn down by rain they dip their heads,
their sleek, flecked bodies, and water tumbles over. Invasive
opportunists, evictor of nestlings, today they’ve only seized
the soft edges between winter and warmth.
Holiness too in the small talk that covers
the gaping pains, the crippling judgments and easy
despair. Over the blaring TV I tell my grandmother
I thought of her yesterday, seeing rabbit on a menu in Albany.
She is pleased, and I bask in how simple it was, she who is
displeased by so many things—the limbs that won’t lift
as they should, the empty house, the too-short dresses
of TV newscasters, the news, always the news–
her evidence we are coming to the end
of an age. Good, I always think, though I grow tired
of hearing about it. I knew she would embark
on the whole story about rabbit, how with a tour group
in Sorrento, she was gallantly served the dreaded food
of her Great Depression childhood. Didn’t
come all the way to Italy to have rabbit.
Nothing gourmet about the soft warm bodies
her father lugged from the woods.
We’ve never seen such unrest, she says,
distracted by the turmoil on the screen,
every plane crash and religious scuffle piling up
on her heart, negating the centuries she hasn’t seen
in Technicolor. I pray for something besides
her mouthfuls of rabbit shot,
for the marauders of her life recast
like these starlings—iridescent, harmless,
throwing water behind them.