HOME :: AWARDS :: ISSUES ::
:: CLU HOME :: WEB SITE SEARCH :: DIRECTORY


2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007
2006
2005
2004
2003
2002
2001
2000
1999
1998
1997
1996
1995
1994
1993
1992
1991
1990
1988
1985
1983
1979
                    1994

Literary Art


Visual Art



Three White Candles

Penny Jeanette Yost

Signora Carracci entered the cathedral
huddled under her loosely-woven shawl,
tugging the black wool scarf snug over her thinning gray hair.
Opaque nylons sagged around her thick ankles,
stuffed into sturdy shoes with square one inch heels.
Limping, as she did everyday,
up the center aisle,
over the tile labyrinth,
past the empty pews,
bowing with respect before the altar crucifix,
to reach, finally,
the Baroncelli Chapel tucked in the right transept.
As expected, she found the box of thin white candles,
freshly stocked each morning by Father Giovanni.
The clatter of her meager lire coins echoed
as she dropped them into the offering box
and selected three candles
one for her husband,
one for her son,
and one for the Madonna.
In the dimly-lit interior,
illuminated only by dirt-encrusted stained glass,
she knelt on the thin hard plank;
ignoring, as she had for years,
how it cut into her shin under her weight.
Long since ignoring as well,
the chatter of tourists who point frantically
at the chapel frescoes during the one-minute flash
of the coin-operated light machines.
Concentrating instead on the flicker of the three white candles,
she knelt in silence.
And looking into the white porcelain eyes of the ceramic Madonna,
she sought solace from another who had lost a son.
After reciting three "Our Fathers",
she stood and made the sign of the cross,
before shuffling with an uneven gait,
through the shadows of the left aisle
just as she did everyday.




Home | Awards | Issues


©2004-2006 CALIFORNIA LUTHERAN UNIVERSITY     |     Please send Web site comments, requests and report broken links to the Web Center.
CALIFORNIA LUTHERAN UNIVERSITY, 60 West Olsen Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360.   (805) 492-2411