I wished for miracles when I was young
– like Thomas, who saw the stabbed
hands of Jesus, and slid his fingers
right inside His wounded heart.

There was the miracle of a man
who loved and wished to marry me;
yet, from another angle, this was
unremarkable. The inconceivable miracle

of our children – their lives arriving
out of mine – was also, strangely, ordinary.
The sacrament of marriage – which I had taken
to be flesh and blood – converted miraculously

back to paper, and, with surprising ease,
was lost. Then the nails, thorns, the long
strung stay; waiting for the ever-hopeful flesh
finally to surrender. A burial behind stone –

these things are commonplace. The year
of the third infidelity, third time denied,
my heart and sex stabbed, all that’s sacred
butchered, knived – the last day of that year,

it was still, and cloudless. I needed a tempest
to rage and scourge the pain, debride my hurt,
and with rain to re-annoint me. I might, even,
have prayed. That night, unseasonably,

light cracked the sky’s slate, and thunder rolled
the stone aside. Hot spats pattered; then water
drummed its fingers down upon the house.
I was re-made that night – composed

within the tender power of miracle.
Before the brave new year unsheathed its blade
in order to dispatch that which could no longer
serve, I went to urinate, and found that I had bled.

Editor's Note: Winner of the 2012 EU Sol Plaatje competition