Francine Marie Tolf

Francine Marie Tolf has published two full length poetry collections, Rain, Lilies, Luck (North Star Press of St. Cloud) and Prodigal (Pinyon Publishing), as well as a memoir and five chapbooks including Eighteen Poems to God and a Poem to Satan by Redbird Chapbooks of Minnesota. Her essays and poems have been published widely in journals including Water-Stone, Poetry East, Under the Sun, Christian Century and Contrary Magazine.  She has received grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board; Barbara Deming / Money for Women; and the Elizabeth George Foundation. Francine lives and works in Minneapolis. Her latest book is a collection of essays, Joliet in My Blood (Port Yonder Press, 2015).  

From Eighteen Poems to God and a Poem to Satan


Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known. (Ps. 77:19)

You walk on the great waters and leave no footsteps.
In the realm of leviathan, you walk.
Three thousand feet below you, mysterious creatures
make their own light (a talent you crafted for them
before they existed).
You walk on the great waters, far
from mercury-poisoned bays
that were shaped by your hands.
You walk and your footsteps leave no trace
of grief that consumes galaxies.

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