Accidents of the Holy Family by Donald Levering

at the Temple Sagrada Família in Barcelona

His thoughts on a nascent spire,
Antonio Gaudí steps
in front of a speeding tram.

He left no blueprints of the temple,
only models made of birdshot and clay,
whorls to mimic nature’s forms.

Eight decades later, staircases corkscrew nowhere
as carpenters rev saws
and guess the curves of his intentions.

Sculptors of his familial saints
keep falling from scaffolds.
Their replacements shatter the molds

and start over.

* * *

In the café across from the Temple,
my old soccer knee aches after climbing
the spire’s stairs. I think of my son’s
predilections, how fully he feels pain,

the time he flew off the dirt bike
and broke his collar bone,
his pain-pill addiction ordained.

Something unlucky is stirring in spiral nebulae.
The server drops his tray
and dishes shatter. His apologies are lost
in the whine of a circular saw.

Comes the dreaded phone call.
God-the-Father has plans for my son.
Climbing steep rocks back home, he fell,
resumed his affair with oxycodone.

Donald Levering
Donald_Levering-2015_Coltranes_God_Author_Photo_Large_2_optDonald Levering’s latest book, Coltrane’s God, was published by Red Mountain Press in 2015. His previous book, The Water Leveling with Us, placed 2nd in the 2015 National Federation of Press Women Creative Verse Book Competition. Levering won the 2014 Literal Latté Award and was 1st Runner-Up for the Mark Fischer Prize in 2015. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.