Saint Foy

by | Jun 11, 2019 | Issue Nine, Poetry

Moving the bones is what woke me.
Jostled in my reliquary,
carted from one monastery to another.

Foolish monks have forgotten
why I was a saint in the first place.

But the people know.

I appear to the woodsman,
the farmwife.
They see me
on the forest path,
at the edge of the fallow field.

A young woman, they say later.
She laughs,
then she’s gone.

Of course the bishop won’t believe you.

I touch the milky eyes of your
old granny
and her sight returns.

Under my touch the exhausted
plow horse springs up
and the farmer dare not
raise his whip again.

At times, I admit,
I afflict the annoying:
a collapsed roof,
an arrow out of nowhere.
“Foy’s jokes,” my people call them,

but His Grace frowns and
sputters about saintly dignity.
This Foy, he says,
she sends lewd dreams to knights,
resurrects kittens.

Poor man, what he’s lost,
those long years in musty chapels.
He needs to walk in the forest
just after dawn.
He’ll know what we know.
I’ll touch his eyes,
give him kittens.

Author’s note: Foy was an obscure third-century saint. Reports of her miracles, witnessed by French villagers, started in the ninth century.

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