Rodrigo Dela Peña

Ave, ave, behold
the Madonna, paraded

on deserted streets.
We peer behind locked

gates, whisper a rote
prayer. Blessed virgin borne

on an inching pick-up,
health of the sick millions,

you are the singular
uninfected vessel

we turn to, now
and at the hour of our death.

Mystical rose, queen
of the quarantined heavens,

holy intercessor, grant
us protection, relief

goods, the unending
grace of your mercy.

Our faith is mobile
as your statue, itinerant

icon dovetailing
with our sorrow.

Enfold us in the blue
of your mantle. Salve

Regina slipping away
from our reach, deliver us

from the specter
of pandemic.

Save us from the virus
that reveals us human.