“St. Matthew on a Midsummer Night,” Ensign, July 1990, 68
St. Matthew on a Midsummer Night
A shadow that comes, whenever,
spreads more than shade
on any town, if the town disappears,
or seems to, in a roll
of earth between sun and moon,
when light is lost, slice by slice.
In such darkness I felt like fleeing
into mountains or other holy places,
but my cat, a good judge of calamity,
looked down, sensing no great change,
seeing no lightning. But suppose
two women are working in a field.
Suppose they are friends, gathering
grain by the glow of a lamp
when the skies darken and flame.
Suppose in some state of truth
elusive and clear as eclipse
they hear the crash of stars.
Suppose what eternity promised has come,
and yet both women are lifted up,
can lead one another on,
carrying their baskets of grain,
the good flavor of their earth,
past other fields waving and growing,
past trees grasping rain,
past mountains holding sound,
past spills of sun and shade
from a moon both new and full.