Seventy Years of Silence
I read about you, Sr. Teresa Maxwell;
your obituary caught my eye.
I saw in the news, in March of this year
that your earthly spirit died.
You were born in Nineteen eleven,
the youngest of sixteen.
Did you choose a silent order as
it promised to be serene?
You took the Habit in
nineteen thirty three.
You made your Solemn
Profession in 'thirty-seven.
Were you able to be wordless
through those years by
envisioning God in heaven?
I imagine seventy years of silence--
I think I'd have gone insane.
Yet when I think of all that I've said,
so much of it is inane.
As life goes on, I promise you Sister,
I will remember your choice.
You gave up what we take for granted--
the sound of your own voice.
When life makes me surrender something,
I'll bow to you in my selfish mind.
Sister, you were a Carmelite nun,
and you lived to be ninety-five.