For Sister Marjorie Tuite, June 28, 1986

because here a final ash has joined the assault.
- Ernesto Cardenal. "The Deserted City"*

A thin New York rain
on your coffin.
The Dominicans follow,
forty years of catching up.
So you are still,
a last ride across
Manhattan's black mirror streets.
Ada Marie pokes
a fist into the weeping air,
shouting your name,
and we all cry "Presente!"
again and again,
until the hearse,
like a low rider chariot,
carries you to fire.
One consummation before the freeing.
Then, compa, you are
light as breath,
and can fall, as you wished,
on Nicaragua's soil.
To lie in the grainy arms
of a thousand mothers,
the holy embrace of martyrs,
with Louisa Amada Espinoza,
with Sandino.
A gringa, a nun
dug into an earth
that hums beneath banana trees,
under the almond groves,
below Lake Managua floating white herons,
harmonizing with the frog--
song of the rivers,
their monotone glory:
everything lives,
everthing lives.
Oh you who never rested,
now in the dust
of mango groves,
rest in peace.

Ada says your solidarity was clear as blue sweetwater lagoons,
because you were never
too tired for El Pueblo,
for las hermanas, for
the bag-ladies, for the folks.
But I think you were
too tired, destructively tired,
tired almost to incomprehension.
But then I'd see you
drag that tiredness
one more step.
You'd move up to the line,
and one, exquisite, seemingly
last time, you'd step
over it. Hurrah!
She did it again! Viva!

So Marjorie, adelante.
Right now
we are stepping up to
their lines.
Watch us.

Renny Golden is a member of the Chicago Religious Task Force and the co-author, with Michael McConnell, of Sanctuary: The Now Underground Railroad (Orbis Press, 1986).

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