Painted face

Cloth covered church pews line the sanctuary,
wait for the crowd of well-dressed shoulders
to arrive and stroll the aisles. They parade
with smiling faces and hide sad or jaded eyes.

The rows fill with sits and stirs, scripture
and song. The offering plate passed palm to palm,
the souls of folk for sale leave pockets empty.

Those broken hearts wear pain cuffed
and pressed around wrists. Along the bare walls
wrapped in fresh flowers, sins die quiet
as wilted petals in second hand vases.

Sun casts colors sketched by old stained
glass windows. The moist breeze passes
through fans that flap like furious wings.
Hands clap, mouths sing, as organ pipes

fill as clouds and burst with music. Restless
harmonies swell under knee-length skirts
as choir sways left to right. From worn carpets
static gathers like dust on the heels of shoes.

Through these doors, some carry their grief,
others wear their smiles and grins. After the last word,
the last note, holding hands, hugs and tears,
walk into the rest of the day, well-dressed and painted face.

—dce

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Categories: Misc.

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