The anchoress looks
into high rafters for one bold mouse,
scurrying over the quiet cell
settling into her ceaseless
life of thanksgiving.
Townspeople bring old bread,
moldy cheese, rancid wine.
With these she makes a daily meal
but remembers always to leave a crumb
for the small life overhead.
As a child she ran loose-limbed,
wild with sunshine.
That warmth still encircles, enfolds.
Now she looks up to see neither mouse
nor rafters but instead golden beings
singing, chanting, shouting praises to an Almighty God.
With a quick pen she writes
all she hears. All she sees.
Soon, exhausted by seeing, purged by writing,
she collapses on her pile of straw.
Mouse finds its way to her pillow
and together they sleep 'midst the ruins of heaven.