Helen Losse

How Faith Works


I see flashes of holiness I call miracles:
a butterfly pausing to speak to my heart.

I acknowledge the kiss of cool, stray raindrops,
admire a skunk mother who adopts abandoned

kittens, even a man who acquires a sick dog.
A child humming softly makes me wonder.

Light accompanies my propensity to sin
with its tiresome dualism: that partly truthful

either/or. Tall grass sways as the wind blows.
God requires me to speak well of my cursing,

junk-collecting neighbor I cannot even like,
to be generous with one who might

waste my money, to recognize the power
of His mercy as it extends beyond

the feeding of a sparrow, to collect the grace




Wrightsville Beach


Near the rock-pile jetty, wind
blows two sailboats along.
Whitecaps thin to sea foam.
Calm waves wash ashore.

Broken shells remain,
free for the taking. Sea oats
flutter on dunes. Rays from the sun

light the north, descending from
cavernous clouds. Sand and ocean
meet there, where sky fills
with promised hope

from a rainbow. Mid-May,
a warm Wrightsville Beach scene
calms, caresses. My arms reach

skyward toward heaven
when I feel wild, cold raindrops
and the warmth of a surf spray mingle
on my face and in my hair.




Helen Losse



Helen Losse is the author of six collections of poetry, including Every Tender Reed (Main Street Rag, 2016), and an Associate Poetry Editor for Kentucky Review. Her poems have been anthologized in Literary Trails of the North Carolina Piedmont, and The Southern Poetry Anthology, Volume VII: North Carolina.

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