When I Hear of Miracles, I Remind Myself

to think of the patron saint of barbers, Martin de Porres,
cutting his fellow brothers’ hair in the monastery,
shaving the stubble from their crowns with a straight razor,
before they go the next morning into mass
where he would levitate into the air as he prayed.

As when he discovered the mice in the chapel’s rafters,
nests throughout the walls, would be exterminated,
he tenderly caught the nearest mouse and whispered to it
to gather its families and follow him to safety.

Kindness itself can be construed as a miracle,
as in the face of more-than-certain cruelty
or in the commonplace nonchalance of any current city.
We are often not obligated to be kind,
and it is a choice to love anyone, anything, with abandon.

The mice never returned: they were last seen following
the patron saint of razors and scissors in a single file line
out the front door of the monastery and into a field
where, it is said, he carefully placed a cube of bread
in each tiny, timid mouth.

There’s always a god
Memorial Cross