Pablo Campues, Saint

by Henry Miles

In Quito, Pablo worked in a match factory, 
made seventy-five centavos a day,
lived in a cave house his own hands

had hollowed in the mountain. 
In his thirties, he learned
that the stone of Daniel 2:44

cut from the mountain without hands,
had begun to roll, would grow like a snowball, 
until it covered the earth.

Pablo got baptized, attended church 
—became inactive. Two Mormon elders 
sweated their way up the mountain,

encouraged him back to the stone. 
Their concern overwhelmed him; 
he knew only friends made that walk.

On Sundays, his red hands placed 
hymnals on warped benches, 
then picked them up again.

Weekdays at dawn in seminary
print on pages took on sounds, then sense.
Pablo tithed, did home teaching, shared the stone.

"Make Pablo a leader in the Sunday School," 
a gringo elder urged Presidente Toro, who said,
"I want to, but Pablo speaks badly, can barely read."

"But," said the elder, "Gringos speak worse,
read worse, and we use them." 
The presidente shook his head.

"With gringos poor Spanish is not a lack of culture.
Would nonmembers return after a meeting led
by a righteous, but barely literate, Indio?" he asked.

Six years after his baptism, Pablo died;
the presidente learned three weeks too late.
Pablo's friends at the factory,

unaware of his new faith, pooled
their pesos, and procured
a mass for Pablo's soul.

Henry Miles, after working more than 30 years in the foreign service, has settled in Provo and enrolled in the English graduate program at BYU.

 

Half Full

by Sam Andrus

The moon strikes half full
as I return, me and the moon.
We talk, just me and him. We
know the other half is there:
dark, away, gone maybe.
Me and him know
it is not really gone:
it goes but not really.
Patience, we will on this night
me and him be full.

Sam Andrus is an English major at BYU. He will graduate in June and continue working at WordPerfect.

Annunciation

by Maryjan Gay Munger

Donna Yeates, my mother's friend, was once 
Mary in the ward Christmas program.
As herself, she had no children, couldn't
even gain weight, which seemed to me 
part of the problem. She sighed
to my mother that though she drank straight 
cream, her face never softened, her arms 
bony as bird legs never grew any rounder. 
The year she was Mary she wore midnight 
blue. Her skin was pure as milk, her hair 
looked blue-black. She carried herself
with the swan look of pregnant women, 
their lovely, weary necks, their big 
buoyant bodies. I thought golden Gabriel
must have streamed through her window in a white 
smock, yoked with two buckets of fresh
cream, saying, "Take, drink, thou highly 
favored. Praised be thy name among women."

MaryJan Gay Munger, a graduate student in English, lives in Springville with her husband, Casey. They are expecting their first child.

Linda

by Pilar Stewart

Texas is hot red dirt
plastered hard
and dry heat rattling.
Linda remembers seeing 
rattlesnakes—ripe poison 
huddled with her
in the storm cellar; it was a choice
between the snake
and the storm.
She talks of Baptist
ministers,
sweat stained collars,
heavy hand on the Bible, 
speaking of damnation. 
In Texas
hell could be believed;
a child would burn
the soles of her feet
walking this land.
You wonder: What
could such a land nurture 
and what would it choose 
to let grow?
In this flat, hard place 
women are soft-drawled, 
demure, plump—
but hard wire behind the eyes. 
Linda rebelled, grew
angular thin
with soft, clear eyes.
You imagine them
sweeping the horizon
creating trees and hills.
And from her hands grew
paintings,
soft exposures of lush blue 
that wash over your eyes and 
satisfy like cold water.
And always she paints angels—
angular angels—
in a lush land
walking barefoot.

Pilar Stewart is an English major from Hamden, Connecticut. Her poetry has previously appeared in Inscape.

I Know Now What I Love You For

by Maryjan Gay Munger

It’s that curve of skin
between your neck and shoulder
that somehow makes me think of
lightly floured bread dough
in a sunny kitchen.

I’m glad to know it’s this
that binds me to you—especially
when I thought it must be
something more elusive, something
like the smooth-grained timbre
of your voice or the sweetness
of your half-smile. I’m glad it’s none
of those. I’m glad the riddle has been
solved, that the answer
can be covered
completely with my hand.

MaryJan Gay Munger, a graduate student in English, lives in Springville with her husband, Casey. They are expecting their first child.