The Common Good
July-August 1999

Last Visit

by Murray Bodo | July-August 1999

---in memory of Denise Levertov, 1923-1997

Like your poems

the high front yard

faces a lake’s inlet.

Purple, pink, orange and yellow

day lilies

punctuate steep

steps to your front door

where lamb’s ear,

allium, ivy and clematis

cover the earth

beneath fig and pear.

Cloistered with fuschia,

fern, spirea and impatiens,

you scan the flowers

talk of saint Romero,

how he died preaching

grammar of justice,

syntax of mutual aid.

At table we share

livetta bread, peaches, cherries and

a view of clouds

you say is

Mt. Rainier

real as the line we had to

break

at Nevada’s nuclear site

to restructure

the sentence our lives are making.

Now I see your obituary,

your death

covered with words

I wish were

your new poem,

another glimpse of

the unseen:

an energy field

more intense than war.

MURRAY BODO is a Franciscan friar, author, and writer in residence at Thomas More College in Cincinnati, Ohio. Phrases in italics are from Denise Levertov’s poem "Making Peace."

Sojourners relies on the support of readers like you to sustain our message and ministry.

Like what you're reading? Get Sojourners E-Mail updates!

Sojourners Comment Community Covenant

I will express myself with civility, courtesy, and respect for every member of the Sojourners online community, especially toward those with whom I disagree, even if I feel disrespected by them. (Romans 12:17-21)

I will express my disagreements with other community members' ideas without insulting, mocking, or slandering them personally. (Matthew 5:22)

I will not exaggerate others' beliefs nor make unfounded prejudicial assumptions based on labels, categories, or stereotypes. I will always extend the benefit of the doubt. (Ephesians 4:29)

I will hold others accountable by clicking "report" on comments that violate these principles, based not on what ideas are expressed but on how they're expressed. (2 Thessalonians 3:13-15)

I understand that comments reported as abusive are reviewed by Sojourners staff and are subject to removal. Repeat offenders will be blocked from making further comments. (Proverbs 18:7)