Two Poems by John Zedolik


He ascended the marble steps
with their soft-rounded lips

on his knees at Old St. Patrick’s
Church whose walls had witnessed

no masses in thirteen years and those
steps—shod feet—how many more?


And when finished, disappeared
to the right after pausing in front

of the icon, to be seen no more
during the witness’s wait that

insisted upon the completion
of the climb upon another’s bones,

which bore the weight of no
penitence and special devotion,

but that of inspiration, whose pounds,
stones can raise themselves

as if upon limbs weightless even
after the joints humble to genuflect

No Pressure

The old violet has sealed itself
to the wooden planks of the deck

as I used to seal the Host, the Body
of Christ, to my hard palate after

the placement upon my tongue,
a soft stigmata or gentle stain

that would dissolve under warm
pressure as the petal will under

fall’s rain, or crack to flake from
the season’s winds, just a bit

stubborn to remain, or harmlessly
play beyond the need, the simple

necessity beyond the seed.

John Zedolik is an adjunct English instructor in Pittsburgh. He has published poems in such journals as Commonweal, Poem, and Transom. In June 2019 he published a full-length collection entitled Salient Points and Sharp Angles (CW Books), which is available on Amazon. His most recent collections are When the Spirit Moves Me: Examinations of Faith (Wipf & Stock/Resource Publications, 2021) and Mother Mourning (Wipf & Stock/Resource Publications, 2022).

Image: aisvri / Unsplash

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