The Lady from the Choir Says, Your Mother Was A Saint – Miriam O’Neal


You see how I’ve had to imagine you—

tried to make my vision fit?

I’ve re-dreamed your dreams as my own, said


we had this kind of conversation, sat down

and poured over our shared life like tea leaves—

asked for a sign.


I want a mirror that cannot crack.



I loved days when the church was empty.

Loved that Station of the Cross

where Mary weeps beside the Magdalene—


the two of them

like the split trunk of a birch,

bent in different ways but



I loved that the death

was finally done, grief


a resting place.



Ken and I are in Montana.

Smoke from the Crazies rises above the peaks—

an umbilical twist of ash collapsing


in eye-blue skies. There is a hole

in one mountain; a small crater

filled with snow—even now in August.


We stand pink rubber hoppers on green water,

watch for rainbows suspended under mossy logs.

Now and then I see my face in Ken’s dark glasses,


a halo of smoke and mountains around my head.

Miriam O'Neal

Miriam O’Neal has published poems and reviews in many journals, including, AGNI, Blackbird Journal, The Guidebook, Nottingham Review, Ragazine, and many others. She earned her MFA in Writing and Literature at Bennington College in Vermont. She lives in Plymouth, Massachusetts with her husband and their dog.

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