The hermit hangs his habit out to dry
In new sun. Once upon a time he had
Two habits: one good habit and one bad.
Down to one, he’s bare. Today God’s eye
Probes every part of him. The tumbled sky
That shines through broken tesserae of cloud
Quickens and touches him. The creek is loud
With springtime. Wading in, he wonders why
His feet in rushing water look so white
Beneath the hanging gut he’ll never lose,
However long he fasts. The tangled hair,
Navel down: a wintry hedgerow. It’s all there,
His body. It hasn’t left him. Old hair still grows.
Stripped, he wears the water’s tossed-up light.

Sally Thomas

Sally Thomas's new book, Motherland, was a finalist for the 2018 Able Muse Book Award in poetry, and will appear from Able Muse Press in the fall of 2019. She is also the author of two poetry chapbooks: Fallen Water (2015) and Richeldis of Walsingham (2016), both from Finishing Line Press. Her poetry and fiction have appeared recently in The Agonist, Forma, Mezzo Cammin: An Online Journal of Formalist Poetry by Women, North Carolina Literary Review, The Orchards Poetry Journal, and Presence: A Journal of Catholic Poetry. She lives and writes in the Western Piedmont of North Carolina.

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