Read

"Garden Party"

Published:
December 14, 2023
October 23, 2023
Read "Garden Party", a St. Francis poem.

A poem about Saint Francis

Before he was a backyard statue
surrounded by chiseled rabbits, fawns,

squirrels, and birds—all of them attentive
to his stone homilies for the homeless

mutts and stray cats sneaking
into elaborate garden tea parties

hosted by venerated women’s
church groups—before all this,

Francis was a man whose hands
bled with stigmata,

flinging him into spiritual
and ecological ecstasy

far from any soirees,
backyard or otherwise.

Before he persuaded the wolf of Gubbio
to stop terrorizing townsfolk,

before he befriended the Sultan of Egypt,
mentored Clare, ministered to lepers,

surrounded himself with all creatures,
crawling and soaring, he was just

Giovanni, spoiled rich boy, soldier
enamored of self and Arthurian legends,

collector of wine, women,
fair-weather friends, fatted calves

on a spit, raucous parties, and no-
where-near-righteous party animals.

Creators:
Marjorie Maddox
Published:
December 14, 2023
October 23, 2023
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