To Church


You sat in die stone church;
To what secret prayers
Did your lips say, Amen?
The preacher spoke from the high
Pulpit, his quick words
Bounced on your mind’s crust.
You were not there to learn
Agility of a creed
Grown nimble from keeping
Its balance on smooth tongues.

You sat in the tall pew;
No new vows were wrung
From your hard heart, pardon,
Hovering on the air,
Had no place to go.
You went down on your knees
With the rest; the priest’s blessing
Fell on you like the tree’s
Shadow in which at last
Your crossed bones were buried.

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