Sister Ann Quigley, a retired educator who ministered with the Apache people on the San Carlos Reservation in Arizona for nearly 20 years, kicks off our National Poetry Month series with two poems. About “Dance of Trust,” she says, “I am not, nor have I ever been a dancer. The awkwardness of my struggles to trust God reminds me of the struggle to learn dance steps.”  

Regarding “The Cello,” she notes, “I played the cello in high school and have always appreciated the range of mellow and moving sounds it produces. God arouses those same feelings in me.” 

Dance of Trust 
By Sister Ann Quigley 

Click here to listen to the author read this poem 

Summoned to be Your partner  

            awed that I was chosen 

                        with apprehension,  

            I extend my quivering hand 

As I stumble through unknown steps 

            You smile encouragement, 

                        and I begin to hope. 

With each misstep I make 

            You draw me closer. 

The blush of awkwardness comes between us. 

The steadiness of Your hand lifts my confidence, 

                        and I begin to believe. 

When I seem to catch the rhythm,  

            You add steps I cannot follow. 

                        I draw apart afraid to try. 

Teasingly, You wait and start again 

            guiding me back into familiar patterns. 

Whispering assurance, that You will always guide me, 

                        and I begin to trust.  


The Cello 
By Sister Ann Quigley 

Click here to listen to the author read this poem 

Your voice is heard 

    and the inner fiber of my being 

            vibrates with anticipated quivering 

a passionate thirst arises 

       a deep yearning trembles 

               through me. 

Your gentle bowed touch 

     glides across the strings of my heart 

         drawing resonant 

          chords of harmony 

                   that seep into the very breadth 

                         of my being. 

Firm fingers play upon my emotions 

     evoking waves of both flight 

            and abandonment 

            the crescendo ache draws me 

                        to surrender to the melody 

                               within me. 

And I know that I am loved.