We are the adherents,
the Sisters of Saint Creola,
Our Lady of the Falling Piano.
We are a strictly female enclave,
here at the edge of a continent,
with the surge of the waves below us
and within us.
Today we honor our blessed Saint C.,
she of the fair face and the wise word.
Born in the year 1899, she remains beautiful
and in her endless inspiration of us, her Sisters.
"Soooo, what's chocolate?" she demands in her honey voice,
entering the room like light from a taper.
If the Pope could see us,
in our unconventional garb,
and our unconventional affections,
he would want to be one of us, I feel certain.
Blessed Saint Creola teaches us that God
is a waitress
in a coffee shop;
an expert at creating chalk menu boards,
and at assuaging that indescribable homesickness
we all carry inside us like some melancholy luggage
we don't know how to set down.
Today there will be blends from Turkey and the Orient;
chocolate from Europe and from two old hippies
who have a store down the coast a little way.
There will be the cerulean sky
and the indigo waves.
There will be the white stucco of our convent,
and the toasted tan of the cliffs,
the high grasses of late summer,
and our warm skins.
Today we celebrate Creola,
living saint and mother hen to all of us.
We are off the grid,
off the radar,
off the chain.
Have a chocolate truffle,
have a Girl Scout cookie.
The sun is right at home in the sky, her hammock,
and the pianos have long ago flown over the cliff
and into the sea,
for Out of Standard at Real Toads.