Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


The Assignation

I think I must have told him my name was Juliette,
with four syllables, you said, to go with violette.

I envisaged the violet air that presages snow,
the dark campaniles of a city beginning to blur

a malfunctioning violet neon pharmacy sign
jittering away all night through the dimity curtains.

Near dawn you opened them to a deep fall and discovered
a line of solitary footprints leading to a porch:

a smell of candle-wax and frankincense; the dim murmur
of a liturgy you knew but whose language you did not.

The statues were shrouded in Lenten violet, save one,
a Virgin in a cope of voile so white as to be blue.

As was the custom there, your host informed you afterwards—
the church was dedicated to Our Lady of the Snows.

Credit


From For All We Know by Ciaran Carson. Copyright © 2008 by Ciaran Carson. Reprinted by permission of Wake Forest University Press. All rights reserved.

Author


Ciaran Carson

Born in Northern Ireland in 1948, Ciaran Carson published several collections of poetry, including On the Night Watch (Wake Forest University Press, 2010)

Date Published: 2008-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/assignation