Sandy Longhorn: "The Summer Saint"


No miracle beyond the fact

            that when the gasses massed

and blew a hole in the elevator,

            killing three, he’d been stuck

in the field, fixing a cranky axle,

            his grain truck unmovable.


And the next day, only singed

            when a sudden storm sent

lightning through the tractor cab.

            His Dekalb cap consumed

by flames, his balding scalp

            left unscathed.


On the third day, he heard

            the voice of God stutter

from a hornet’s nest and reached

            a hand to touch the mouth.

And the hornets did attack,

            but the stings lacked any venom.


The neighbors whispered then

            about luck and cheated death.

They made more visits to the man

            in hopes their own bruised bodies

might find relief.  When that failed,

            they began to pray


for this man’s early death, to speed

            the time to sainthood

when they could skim the mystery

            from the relic of his bones,

hold it between their teeth and taste

            the light his body had foretold.



Sandy Longhorn is the author of Blood Almanac (Anhinga Press), which won the Anhinga Prize for Poetry.  New poems are forthcoming or have appeared recently in Adanna, Escape Into Life, Lake Effect, New South, South Dakota Review, and elsewhere.  Longhorn lives in Little Rock, AR, is an Arkansas Arts Council fellow, and blogs at Myself the only Kangaroo among the Beauty.