Italy and Belgium: A Liturgy

God in the practical black shoes of the nuns
in kindergarten, but not in the ruler cracked
down on the palm, the red welt rising.

God in the village church, its wicker pews,
stained glass windows holding stations of the cross.
God in the red and gold light pooled in the nave.

God in the hushed confessional but not
in the listening priest. God in the teacher
who gave me Herman Hesse.

God in the humming field, in bees dusted
with pollen, in the hawk on a broken fencepost,
in the sway-backed horse, breath on my hair.

God in the bottle my mother raised to her mouth
but not in the anger after.
God in the walk through the hum of the field.