by Ruth Goring


Our bodies / are the leaves of God.

Broken, and again broken,
sick and scraped, my Tree.
Árbol de vida, what life
is this, Dios mío
y no tan mío.

My Dove with ragged
wings, my torn Umbrella
            (if this is the way you treat
            your friends, no wonder
            you have so few)

—en tu mundo ando
coja y cómplice.
Teresa before me
on this path, limping.
Start over: just
when I had gotten used
to dryness, you pour
ecstasy, raise me, mend.

My Stranger, mi Madre,
your hands I can almost.
El castillo interior
pajoso, Dios mío y no
tan mío.

Love once said to me, I know a song.
Abide with me, fast falls
my Darkness, bearing
soot and gasps y tanta lluvia
                        all my almost

till Christ nubs in the tomb
of me (has no body now on earth
but ours).


Autor’s note: All italicized text is from St. Teresa.

RUTH GORING’S poetry collections are Soap Is Political and Yellow Doors; her poems have appeared in RhinoCalyxIron Horse Literary Review, and many other venues. She also writes and illustrates children’s picture books (Adriana’s Angels / Los ángeles de AdrianaPicturing God). Her homes are Chicago and Colombia. Find her at ruthgoringbooks.com.


Photo: “Santa Teresa de Jesus (Avila)” by Jose Luis Cernadas Iglesias