Middle Winter [4]

shadows

Middle Winter [4]

4.

The church in my soul fell in long ago.
Through the broken walls early February

hums its hollow hymns. Wordless as I am
when I cross any church’s path. Always

I make sure it’s on the sunny side; too many
Years I knelt in its shadow.

This dread is not nameless.
Named at baptism, newly named

at confirmation, there is no end to the names.
To those names is added

a new name for each of your sins.
All those names cling to the tracks

of catechism only they can ride,
but the sounds are so distant,

a train on the horizon, a single long blast
of warning at a sleepless hour,

a caravan of chained boxes,
stale air dancing with black dust as it fades.

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