Reverence – New Poetry by Mary Jo Maguire

Joint Winner of The Letter Review Prize for Poetry


Mannequins smiled behind the soiled windows
of a second hand shop as a procession of pilgrims
filed stiffly by on the feast day of Corpus Christi.
Silent, sprawling street people stared and pointed.

The procession paraded behind a white canopy
held high by four pilgrims under which the priest
displayed the Eucharist, sacred in a gold monstrance.
Some of the mannequins, in frozen positions, bowed.

A caboose of six Knights of Columbus followed
with their billowing, crimson robes fully puffed.
Heads held high, they paraded, gazing upward,
unaware of the forgotten souls lining the streets.

One mannequin smiled, almost with reverence
as the Eucharist, elevated, passed by her window.
Her smile also fell upon the fragile street audience
ignored by the faithful procession of pilgrims.

As an octogenarian, I am energized by writing. Poetry is a favorite form for me. My poems have been published and received contest awards, both regionally and nationally. My success started by winning a second place award in a Saturday Evening Post 2002 Limerick Contest. My heart remains lighthearted but poems of a serious nature sometimes emerge. A graduate of The University of Colorado, I taught at the elementary level, reared two children, now enjoy six grandchildren.