by on August 7, 2021 :: 0 comments

Holy doors slam with echo
scudding shoulders into neck
as my hand, damp with holy water,
claws at my collar.

Like watching a stranger’s home video
through the crack of a door
I look to the distant altar
where vows were made
not kept,
peering through the flock,
finding my little girl in the viewfinder
of a grey-suited stranger.

Filming her every pose,
he smiles, a smile he stole from me
and she smiles back
as I drift further out of focus.

I open my hymnbook,
but words on the page misbehave
leaving me miming a dirge to loss;
suppressing a scream…

Children resembling newlyweds
proceed to a garden feast,
joy on faces of innocence
departing through an arched doorway.

I remain alone in my pew,
a stranger to a recent past,
afraid of both pity and pride;
the ambush waiting
beyond an open door.

That is until, my legs disobey
and I’m in full glare
each set of eyes, like lasers
burning me to shut down.

I adjust my frown,
as I’m picked out of a lineup
the guilty, the loser, the weirdo;
my daughter wrapped around my waist
with adoration in her eyes
and as I hold her,
I lose myself in cathedral glass
never more alone in the mind.

editors note:

Wrapped in the ritual we regaled, pretending rite makes right. (This poem is included in David’s soon-to-be-released collection, “Through an Open Window.” Find out how to get your copy here. – mh clay

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