(To Our Lady of Crimson Slippers)
Our Lady, wrapt in morning,
prays all quietly,
scarcely aware that some dark prophecy
has died her sandals to a scarlet pain.
This sign is for us.
A first red leaf-flame flickers in the undergrowth of every wood –
mute herald of the whirlwind that will come.
although day will be deep with summer still
and all the panoply of autumn lies before us,
at last, however, late, the conflagration mounts;
the winter’s ash is strewn.
Sister M Julian RSM
In: The Refuge of Beauty. 1954