Garden of the Poor Clares (For Clare of Assisi)

How many hearts have burned, though dead,
to hear the truth that they have died
amidst their riches, and felt sparks
of life fly into their dead hearts when
they put to flames their deeds of wealth?

How many nobles have thrown down
the gauntlet of their wealth and died
the death of all their treasuries
just that they might enter life
as through the needle’s eye?

How many earthly-rich Clares have
left behind their stores of wealth
and palaces to take the road of
dying ones who led the way in
the Christ’s cross-scarred and risen footsteps?

How many poor Clares have yet bloomed
like pear trees on their prayer-worn knees,
noble lives of worldly riches
swapped for sacrifice in gardens
where the tree of life yet grows?

How many have locked treasure houses
from the pearl beyond all price
and have not known the tree of life’s fruit,
guarding their weak knees from bending,
guarding their poor hearts from breath?

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