The Sun rose, brilliantly
and unforgettably wise.

She yearned to
mislay indelible

While iron hands
clutched scents of
impossible reverence,

The reliquary’s shining
witnesses requited
by tear-drained eyes.

How she turned from them!

“Where is He?” she
demanded of a lowly

barely a shred of
her former self
in evidence.

“Mary,” He said, the
only word the moment
could demand,

The first word on
the first day of a
recalculated infinity.

Michael James Fitzgerald

See John 20:11–18.

Hear My Dream

The inevitable Man will
burn conscience to ash
if Pilatos hears me not.

I witnessed His suffering,
a visceral dream so low
waking seems only dreaming.

Hear me, infinite
aspiration! Destiny
is not among your gods.

Jupiter this day has
fallen from the
grace of veneration,

And so shall you
if you hear me not—
if you dare with cold fingers
to touch the Soul of the universe.

Michael James Fitzgerald

See Matthew 27:19.

The Great Quiet

The soul of the earth holds
me with her arms, her
enfolding secrets of quiet.

“Listen,” she whispers to
delirious ears, “for my
desperate, insistent heart.”

For decades, nothing. Then:

“Forgive me, Mother.
I hear you now, and your
immense, dark silence.”

Michael James Fitzgerald

Photo courtesy Cristi Fitzgerald ❤️

A Covenant of Flowers

On loan from a distant world,
your borrowed beauty wakes
on spring’s eve,

Yellow trumpets singing
holy anthems to
the bones of the earth,

Summoning wonders and powers
and unfixed memories mere
science cannot abide:

This secret of the universe—
She in high office owns
a tireless eye for beauty.

Michael James Fitzgerald

“Forgiveness Flour” by Marguerite Stewart

Today I heard for the first time Marguerite Stewart’s poem, “Forgiveness Flour,” over the stake conference pulpit.

When I went to the door, at the whisper of knocking,
I saw Simeon Gantner’s daughter, Kathleen, standing
There, in her shawl and her shame, sent to ask
“Forgiveness Flour” for her bread. “Forgiveness Flour,”
We call it in our corner. If one has erred, one
Is sent to ask for flour of his neighbors. If they loan it
To him, that means he can stay, but if they refuse, he had
Best take himself off. I looked at Kathleen . . .
What a jewel of a daughter, though not much like her
Father, more’s the pity. “I’ll give you flour,” I
Said, and went to measure it. Measuring was the rub.
If I gave too much, neighbors would think I made sin
Easy, but if I gave too little, they would label me
“Close.” While I stood measuring, Joel, my husband
Came in from the mill, a great bag of flour on his
Shoulder, and seeing her there, shrinking in the
Doorway, he tossed the bag at her feet. “Here, take
All of it.” And so she had flour for many loaves,
While I stood measuring.

Forgiveness mustn’t be a stingy business, though it’s usually painful to offer. It happens at our very core or it doesn’t happen at all. But it takes time, and we are often willing before we are able.

It’s self-liberating because, once you forgive, you can think clearly about something else. The more freely we give and forgive, the freer we become.

I am indebted to Madison U. Sowell who helped my find this poem as he cited it in his BYU Devotional, “On Measuring Flour and Forgiveness.” “Forgiveness Flour” by Marguerite Stewart was published in the Religious Studies Center Newsletter 7, no. 3 (May 1993).