of Fra Angelico
is the painting I love. They pass
body down between them like a waterfall,
kindness in each expression—saints, apostles, martyrs,
and Florentine merchants—united
in art as never in life, defying
to keep them from this act
of corporate obedience. Might it not
well have happened just like this—the Spirit’s
glow in these anachronistic faces, the bell
over the cool cloister of San Marco
as this three-quarter-turned congregation stares out,
our failures, reborn in this unlikely sacrifice,
brilliant with hope against a Tuscan sky?
Last of five poems in the sequence Postcards from Florence.
© Godfrey Rust 1996, email@example.com. See here for permissions.