It was a starved and empty Friday when the old priest passed away,
discovered by the boy who used to ring the time of day.
He hurried to the town to share the ruin he had found
and by the time the sun had set the man was settled in the ground.
The hot breath of summer flowers filled the fields now dead and wrong.
A darkness gripped the town, though most the town was gone.
They’d gone to new America or gravely passed into the dust,
leaving the hazel and the thistle and the gates now veiled in rust.
The congregation elders searched for a man to fill his place,
but none were near as godly, and none so touched by grace.
Remaining empty handed, to their homes they each returned
as Saturday descended and to deep ash the sky had burned.
In crept Sunday morning, the town gathered at the church
like soldiers returned to camp to heal their hopelessness and hurt.
From their seats among the pews they looked with hollow sunken eyes
to the empty space before them where their last hopes came to lie.
Silence draped the room as some bent their necks to pray
when from within their ears a piercing roar broke upon the sullen grey.
The sound crumbled into thunder they only heard from deep within
before apocalyptic trumpeting gave way to a calm and stoic wind.
The church bells rang above them to call the start of mass
but hung still as ancient stones that rest along the paths.
They reached for one another and some sank to touch the floor
as a bludg’ning of ancient echoes rose from decades long before.
They heard the morning of the rebel, the prideful boasts of daring priests,
the whispers of young newlyweds in their first devoted weeks.
They heard days of silent winters spent by the closing years last flames,
the cries of fearful parents calling out their children’s’ names.
Eurekas of discovering a new place to call your home
and the sorrowful lamenting for the one from which you’re gone
In every clash of words between two groups misunderstood
was the sunken love we feel for unnamed children by the road.
And the thunder of the waterfall ‘gainst rocks reposing in the pond,
the fluttering of stars from beyond the last beyond.
There were the regretted words spoken in angry, heated breath
and the nostalgia of the unspoken love not revealed before one’s death.
And the creaking of decaying wood from which new life will grow again
they heard every first, and every last, every midst without an end.
The sounds grew within their hearts until it became a deafening riot
and then the moral with no words rose from the sermon in the silence.
As quickly as it started the sound receded into the walls
as the congregation saw that in the pews there sat their God.
She was strong with angry hands and yet his face was soft his kind.
yet they could not bear to look because they saw that God was crying.
It was ever long ago the last townsman left his home.
The old forgotten church, now a corroding catacomb
Walls shrouded in dark ivy let unknowing winds pass thru
where once upon a time, God prayed from a wooden pew.