Today I leaf through the obituaries
and find out who has died among the famous—
an actress, doctor, and philanthropist—
the stories of their lives take up a page.
But I recall my neighbour, Betty Amos,
who, with beads wrapped round a gnarled fist,
attempted to cure cancer with Hail Marys,
never letting faith succumb to rage.
There is no mention of her name at all,
no words relating kindnesses and deeds,
how she brought us apples in the fall,
and fed the hungry pigeons pumpkin seeds.
first published in Chronicles, 2006