To St. Bridget
Renee Emerson

To St. Bridget

With your husband, you buried all
your bodily love, unhooked
the ring fettering
your finger, became channel, bridge,
conduit of heaven’s purifying
fire on the weed-choked fields
of the church.

Let me tell you, Bridget, a thing or two
about bodily love. My husband and I start and end
the day together in the same bed.
A Baptism, going under into the mock-death
of sleep, defenseless, unaware, our bodies
grazing each other in unconscious turning.

Maybe it was because we were born like any other
earthly children, unlike you,
never swaddled in shipwreck-salvation,
no foot-ink of God’s vision, just the same
miraculous promise every child receives—
growth, if all goes well, days
and days, if all goes well.
Our marriage bed brings no plow for tares,
instead two gathered together,
breathing the holy spirit between them,
a dandelion, feathering.

Renee Emerson

is a homeschooling mom of seven and the author of Church Ladies (forthcoming from Fernwood Press, 2022); Threshing Floor (Jacar Press, 2016); and Keeping Me Still (Winter Goose Publishing, 2014). Her poetry has been published in Windhover, Poetry South, and other journals. She adjunct teaches online for Indiana Wesleyan University and blogs about poetry, grief, and motherhood at