April Fools’ Day

a poem by
RITA A. SIMMONDS | Mother + Poet


This poem is a reflection of one particular April Fools’ Day when I had to ask myself how someone could love me so much when I was not receptive to that love.

THIS morning
I thought you a fool,
laying your life out flat
into my hand,
never to be taken up again.
How I can think such petty thoughts
of your hidden greatness,
and still you halt not
your subtle and complete miracle.
If you truly are
who you say you are,
who am I to be given
the power to disregard?

you visited me again,
making your flattened gift of this morning
your arms like large wings
fanning the aridity of my room.
Your brown eyes
perfect pleading circles
turning in emphatic face,
seeing what you know I don’t,
hoping to budge this obstacle that won’t.

I wonder why you pick and pry
at pinched hearts,
why you enter walls that
package and store massive blocks of amputated hopes,
why you offer your face and arms,
will and charms
to arms that won’t embrace.
Why not regard such disregard
and leave my room?

You are the fool who fears not death
nor sealed tomb.    

Photograph by Alex Robert
Rita A. Simmonds
Rita A. Simmonds was born in Rochester, New York. She received her BA from Hofstra University and her MA from Teachers College, Columbia University. For several years, she worked for the City University of New York, teaching English as a Second Language. Simmonds is a three-time winner of the Best Original Poetry category at the annual Catholic Press Association Awards (2011, 2010, 2004), as well as a winner of numerous second and third place CPA awards. In 2012, fourteen of her poems were featured in the bestselling MAGNIFICAT Year of Faith Companion, and 49 original poems in MAGNIFICAT Year of Mercy Companion. Her poetry books include Souls and the City, Bitterness and Sweet Love: The Way of the Cross and other Lenten Poems, and Greeting the Seasons: Poems for the Holidays. Simmonds lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her two sons.