Valley of the Mother of God

I am driving the
Valley of the Mother of God.
I did not know
It takes me by surprise.

I am in the rolling hills
of a beautiful moraine
on a day that teaches me
new life is seething, underground.

I have seen wondrous things so far.

An American eagle sculpture
in red white and blue
on a ball of gold, all animus
and power, discarded at the road.

A small drumlin, so exquisitely sculpted
that its form, in a field,
is not a mound of glacial drift
but the perfect profile, of a woman’s breast.

Three women, hammers in hand,
dancing lightly on a roof,
shingles moving lazily toward them
by conveyor.

I notice iron gates, askew,
enmeshed with weeds.
I think of the lyric, Mother Mary comes to me,
as I apply the brakes.

Valley of the Mother of God, it says,
black letters glinting dully, in the sun.
I squirm and I am
unaccountably alarmed.

A church, I realize,
somewhere down
the property,
gated against the world.

Nothing but metal, then
And words belonging
to Florence in the Medici age,
or Rome.

My eye catches sun
on the burnished wood
of an ancient stile
across the road.

I hear the muted braaaaap
of motorcycles
coming this way,
and I move on.


Image of valley:  Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust

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