Sidewalk Saint

By Michael Power - Welland, Ontario, Canada - 8 June 2014



The wandering woman of Welland, mad and alone,

sanctifies the city, from one end to the other,

three days' journey by foot. It is the new Ninevah.


She is a cloud-cuckoo contrapuntalist,

her melodious mumblings to the Virgin

filling the already crowded urban air

with a recitation of a childhood prayer:

Hail Mary full of grace

The Lord is with thee....

Over and over: the canticle of the crazy.


Or is she a two-thousand-year-old prophetess,

returned to warn us of our pride, power and riches,

as she leads the way on the path to redemption?