Il Poverello

Il Poverello

I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
-T. S. Eliot, The Wasteland

The year you finally repented of the truth
that April really is the cruelest month,

you saw your end, an end, all ends, coming
and recalled the End who comes.

The time is short, and He comes soon,
and despite the Spring, the darkness creeps.

Ecce homo, it is all too much, too much
to comprehend, the turning, the spire, the blind ignorant.

You tell an elderly man of Francis,
not the one he knows, but the Saint.

The poverello about whom the Italians had heard
who, having been called to the deathbed

of a sick man who would not repent,
was commanded by the ill to give some preaching.

Il poverello opened a bag of ashes,
and, pouring them over his head, departed in silence.

If you walk toward the light,
you will never have fear of your shadow.