To St. Helena / by Joseph Castorino


Dear modest, majestic

   mother of Constantine,

You sweetly speak

   with stately serenity;

As a holy pilgrim, with

   eyes alive and animated,

You search for Christ’s

   true cross on Calvary.


Lumbering laborers dig up for

   you a dizzying number

Of dirty crosses -- yet

   only one is miraculous;

Only one cures the

   worn-out woman’s incurable

Disease when she is

   wondrously made well.


Then, when you eagerly

   embrace its holy wood

In your amiable arms, you

   tremble with jubilation;

Strands of your long brown

   hair blow in the breeze across

Your lovely face and then

   softly caress the holy cross.