Devout small child, sought cave
lit by red-orange candle flames,
mysterious grotto somehow carved
into side of large gothic church.
Dark stone curved inward
away from gold tabernacle,
winged angels and all the saints
beside mother Mary, gowned in blue.
Solemn under flickering shadows,
knees on kneeler, eyes squeezed shut.
Surely god listens, even to the young
deep within this special place.
Why did I return after decades away?
Priest stands at makeshift altar
watches people, back to tabernacle,
shining not. Statuary stands about,
coarse in detail. And there. . .
dim plastered niche. Grey stones layered
upon layer of faux black, some askew
like mislaid bricks. Yellowed plastic electric
candles flutter, dull and duller.
push-a-button prayer place
is not, and never shall be
what was for me.
Written for Wednesday Poetics, dVerse Pub for Poets. If you’ve not checked it out, this is a wonderful virtual spot — great group of folks — and always interesting challenges. Today, Mary tends the “bar” and talks about rooms, citing some wonderful poetry, and asks us to write about a room we remember. I did return to this place of my childhood some five years back. I wished I had not. So many things seem so large and magical when we are young. Somehow with height comes a different perspective. Photo Credit: Therese Branton.