The Saint in the garden planted himself beneath a copper beech tree. Three months passed before roots formed, tender and green, shyly extended from submerged baby-toes. He never liked shoes much, anyway. Three months passed; the Saint did not move, but opened his mouth to rain and stray crab-apples. The Saint preferred persimmons, but offered up that small penance to baby Jesus. The Saint was patient. The Saint grew leaves, leaves shaped like spears. The Saint might have made it through the full year of mortification if it wasn't for Talia. That wild-haired woman came each noon and midnight with her Sicilian lute, her perfectly cut tomatoes--obscene love-apples, onions spliced with garlic. Even the angels standing watch grew distracted when from her prodigious bosom, she unraveled a banner of sky to wipe her berry-stained mouth. Even the cherubs blushed as she licked her runcible spoon. She sang to the Moon at midnight; at noon she sang to the Sun. Three months passed till our good Saint, one bright fall, dug himself up. Pulled himself up, roots and all. Jumped the fence and lit out for Burma, where rumor had it, it was easier to be a saint. Talia followed, resumed her wanderings without so much as a sigh; she missed her captive audience, the challenge of his martyred eyes.
Copyright 2001, Maura Alia Bramkamp
A resident of the Pacific Northwest for over six years, freelance writer Maura Alia Bramkamp has recently returned to her hometown of Buffalo, NY. Her husband & three cats have agreed to accompany her despite exaggerated snow warnings. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Washington; her poems have appeared in Synapse, CoffeeHouse Literary Quarterly, ArtVoice, Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, Switched-On-Gutenberg, and many other publications.