As you lie there

(bedridden, they say),

Dull eyes fixing on objects

deemed less than worthy of ordinary attention”

uneven surfaces,

hairline cracks in a painted wall,

sunlight moving hour by hour

across mementos of distant adventures”

Do you still travel the roads and seaways with

the belated apostle from Tarsus as he journeys across

the Empire?

Can you yet stand in the shadows with the young Athanasius,

hearing the Nicene elders pronounce on

the consubstantial Word?

Are thoughts of day-long colloquies at Cassiciacum

still blowing through your fevered mind like

an evening breeze?

Will your little room with the clean sheets and

the antiseptic smells expand to hold

a Dumb Ox pondering syllogisms spacious enough

to contain a universe,

an Augustinian monk daring to stand ( contra

mundum ”Do you remember Athanasius?) before

the doctors gathered at Leipzig and Worms,

a gaunt young lawyer poring over sacred texts in

his Genevan study?

Do angels and archangels,

prophets, apostles, and martyrs,

all assembled as a great cloud of witnesses,

Greet you as you make your way beyond encroaching darkness

toward the Unapproachable Light?