Fish and Loaves

by Bonnie Smith


We are laughing, and naked,

and there is no fear between

us. There is no absence, no

invisibility, no dread - not

even the possibility of it.


It is easy to remember all the

days I went to bed hungry for

affection - disappointed in false

gods that claimed to be true love,

I dug up so many graveyards trying to


find a pearl buried in that narcissism—

it is easy now to point out what

is not god, and what is not love,

but it is still a surprise every time

I turn over in bed and see olive branches


sprouting from the pillows;

a sign that destruction has been

subsiding. This I can confess:

I cast my pearls among swine,

but I have been brought into the


wilderness and he has spoken

to me tenderly. Between us

there is still seeking, but within

myself a covenant with the

divine is found.


It wasn’t the food or the meal,

it was the generosity that people

couldn’t stop talking about.

That’s why I call you a miracle.

back to University & College Poetry Prizes