I walk through the wooden doors
towering, tall with large metal bolts
into the cold hollow entrance-way
surprised that the ceiling did not fall
and the altar still stands in the apse.
Neglecting to cross myself, I sit
and the cool careworn pew chills me
as I contemplate the Assumption
in stained windows framed by white marble.
sculpted stone and shaped cement pillars
reaching friezes below white arches.
Is the sacrilege worse in this place
than the warm wood of ours? This altar
must be cold, icy to the touch
of nervous skin, and christening hands.
I can’t imagine it cold.
I had a poetry teacher who said that muffling is what poets do to lead into their poems, and that it almost always takes away from the reader's experience of it. With that in mind, but still with a strong desire to muffle, i include this bit after the poem.
In the interest of stemming a tide of off-target comments, i want some things understood before comments are made. First, i am not the speaker of this poem, no sympathy or empathy needed. Second, it is not an anti-religion poem; it relates to a specific person and a specific experience.