- St. Jerome, Leonardo da Vinci
Jerome’s sunken face belies his forty years.
The desert can be hard on a man,
hunting a meal a distraction from prayer,
seeking water an exercise in humility.
Where rocks become both shelter and weapon,
the lion’s roar at the saint’s pain gets lost
in the grotto’s stones and desert wind.
Jerome bruises the flesh that covers his heart.
Is this pain all that God offers?
Jerome cranes for heavenly light above him.
Is this despair all that God offers?