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Hanging Prayer Flags the Morning of the First Snow


Caroline A. LeBlanc

On the empty room ten thousand circles interlace, rippling
A surface touched only by snow.
Above my studio door

I thread a rainbow of Tibetan prayer flags, in and out
of deck poles. Wind chills my limbs &
flags flutter

a reminder. Before their exile, this deed would have been sacrilege
to my Acadian ancestors who tacked

not bare of body in quiet wayside niches, over doors, each bed
in the house. The broken bulk of Christ would

heavy, arms wide and nails through palms. His torso would slump
into bent legs with feet joined like upside-down
hands at prayer.

Christ's form would bear a speared side, blood painted
to accept whip lines, the stab of thorns and nails.
His human heart

pierced, the way my concentration is by a crescendo
of geese as they plow out. A water wake

into a canopy of chevrons:
lance, flag, crucifix.