The Ex-Dean of Grace Cathedral

by Cathy Smith Bowers

is wearing socks
made of coffee grounds,
recycled and sold on-line

by the Ministry of Supply.
Coarse grind or extra fine
he did not say. Nor did he

divulge what foreign soil
and climes had spawned
the beneficent hosiery he

had on. Nam, perhaps. Dregs
of the bitter beans whose jolt
and meager price helped deliver

that ravaged land from oblivion.
He gave up long ago, he tells
me now, his puerile dream

of saving by his far-too-human
hands this far-too-human world.
So he does, instead, our

benevolent dean of grace,
what little he can do. Pray.
Be kind. Tread softly through

this old beleaguered world.
Preferably in socks
made of coffee grounds.

This Poem Appears In


Vol. 28 | No. 1 | MARCH – 2022


Cathy Smith Bowers

poems have been featured on Garrison Keillor’s Poetry Almanac and on Poetry Daily. The Collected Poems of Cathy Smith Bowers won the 2014 SIBA Award for Poetry. Her most recent book is The Abiding Image: Inspiration and Guidance for Beginning Writers, Readers, and Teachers of Poetry.


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