Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

Waiting behind burned-out jack-o’-lanterns for day to come,
the saints clap their stigmata hands.
They are the sun’s halo, shimmering the November air
with celestial simplicity; the sky, their dried blood.
By the time we wake on All Hallows,

weary from our own werewolves and witches,
the narrow sidewalks are crowded, the Christian dead
hopscotching between the cracks
we’ve let creep parallel to where we live.

And soon, yes, they’ll be marching triumphantly
past the graveyard, cymbals like offering plates at their hips,
the old spiritual clanging the neighborhood,
saxophones and trumpets blasting the last
doubts from our ears.

Of course, we will follow,
stiff in our nightshirts, too human for holiness
but hungry enough to shadow their sanctified sufferings,
genuflect with them in the cold gothic
arch of the cathedral where,
with the canonized, we will feast greedily
on the Body and Blood.