The Burnt Chapel

The Burnt Chapel

The chapel of Ease was destroyed by fire
Left by a population fleeing the ruins of war

Along a stagecoach connection overhung
With spanish moss. Two brick walls hang

On like stagecraft from the sky. The foundation
Seems hardly to touch the ground, never had

A chance to dig roots into the sandy soil
Around the river whose local inhabitants

Called Big Bends. Two lead-crossed
Round windows, like cartoon eyes of the dead

Stare uncomprehending through spanish moss,
the wisps of song surviving on air alone.

The Yemassee started the American Revolution
Sixty one years too soon. They’d already left

One home and decided to stand and fight
For the second one against slavery and cruelty.

Sixty one years. People live and die
In that span and tribes disappear. The chapel of

Ease was rebuilt and destroyed and will
Not be rebuilt. The hanging moss, like so many

Lives, can be light as air but drape a haunting
Stillness on the trees even as a breeze flows through.

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