Bus to San Miniato al Monte

audioear pictureHear the author read this poem (in RealAudio)

I stood there swaying with nuns,
the only non-nun among them,
swaying with equivalent hips
at the same dips and swerves
in the road we all followed,
thinking in words we all knew.
I felt new, somehow. I felt—nun
I fancied my clean hands
haloing the dirty pole
made it a little bit cleaner.
Oh, we were distinctly aware
which of us was and wasn't one.
They nodded to me nonetheless
as lilies to a too-tall, wayward weed
sharing the same earth and taking
the same breeze-scented sun.
I felt accepted then. Ensistered.
When we arrived at the old church,
how gently we flocked out and in
and all as one looked up to praise
the way it was designed to hold the light.
We halted by the image of the man in pain.
Who would not be fascinated, dismayed?
They knelt and prayed, a sound like sluicing water.
I stayed standing, tall and fallen, as I had been
all along. They left me at the altar.

Presented by

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. Who cares about youth? James Hamblin turns to his colleague Jeffrey Goldberg for advice.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. James Hamblin turns to a colleague for advice.

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

Video

Pittsburgh: 'Better Than You Thought'

How Steel City became a bikeable, walkable paradise

Video

A Four-Dimensional Tour of Boston

In this groundbreaking video, time moves at multiple speeds within a single frame.

Video

Who Made Pop Music So Repetitive? You Did.

If pop music is too homogenous, that's because listeners want it that way.

More in Entertainment

More back issues, Sept 1995 to present.

Just In