Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Staining Glass

Listen, child, to the steps
of quiet cries,
liturgy of tight fists,

broken fingers
wearing crushed coal,
glowing ore.

Do you hear the burst
of purple
under amber eyes,

see the breeze of silk scarf,
tied high
around bending neck?

Stained glass, brightened
by warm streams, washes

Colors of what was shattered
draw you into the image
painted a-cross

stone and cement.
Shards in shapes without words—
angles unmeasured, curves untraced.

Yes, they are beautiful
all pieced and polished together.
But this is a broken place.

Feel, child, the song
of the Via Dolorosa,
its starts and steps,

rocks lodged in heels.
Rubies run down temple
from nature’s filigree.

She wanted to follow
each twist of road
each turn of sacred ankle,

but wore the bracelet of warning,
burning opal, stinging sapphire,
precious family heirloom.

Listen, child, to the silence.
Hear flaming prayers flicker.
You will not find her

candle here.
Hear flashing tithes of silver.
Her offering was not accepted.

Hear emeralds sparkle
from plundered cities.
Her riches are not set in alter stone.

Hear the faith of our fathers
sung each week without fail
and wonder

whose voice stains the glass.