Deborah L. Humphreys

st. vincent academy
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this city on the hill
fills the space of more than one
century, rising up
from the locked down deep
rumblings of want—
the disenfranchised need
recognized by women
themselves from a geography
of barren but schooled
in the varieties of what it is to be

brought to light, to a mason’s definition
of natural wonder, delight to see
the living stones of the first foundation
wicklow stone and vision

we are clay and sand, warmth
and chill, sparkle and scar.
we are a glimpse of treasure.

on another day
the people of God will gather, face
the edge, the rough and straight
line of the dedication rock. to the right
and to the left is not an intersection of walls
but arms that stretch broadly, firm and protecting


Groundbreaking, Newark NJ
25 September 2001