saints of diminished capacity


I can’t remember now who I read or heard say the phrase “saints of diminished capacity” (I thought it was Nadia Bolz-Weber, then today I found this book.), but it has stuck with me, and has been a poem I keep coming back and revising. Here is the 2020 version:

saints of diminished capacity

the phrase on the page
requires me to infer tone
to decide if the poet
implied quotation marks
–“diminished capacity”–
or “saints” for that matter . . .

either way, the phrase is
fragrant with failure
infused with impairment
struggling stumbling to find
a hint of hope that failure
will not be the final word

my knees ache with reminder
of diminishment every time
I stand up but I stand anyway
a heart hobbled by grief knows
comparison offers no comfort
I am still capable of great love



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