“Why the HG is Holy,” by Mark Halliday

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Why the HG is Holy,” by Mark Halliday, appeared in MQR’s Winter 1986 issue.


The Holy Ghost was browsing in his or her library
one day in the future, unaccountably bored,
oddly querulous, vaguely wanting something that would be
quietly unfamiliar. “It doesn’t have to be great,”
said the Holy Ghost with the faintest note of exasperation
in his or her voice, “just so long as it has its own special character.”
Gliding along the billion shelves,
incredibly graceful despite his or her mood.
Then the deft and lovely hand of the Holy Ghost lit
on a slim volume of poetry–
it was your book.
It was your book.
The first poem caused the Holy Ghost to frown;
ah, but not with disdain, rather with curiosity!
The second poem brought a brightening of divine eyes.
And the page was turned as if by a pensive breeze.
Maybe it happened after your death, but so what? It
“I’m taking this back to my perfect desk,”
said the HG. “This is really something.”


Image: Grigoriev, Boris. “Woman Reading.” Ca. 1922. Oil on canvas. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

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