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.