Small Town Church
On a rare and perfect January day,
where the sky is unmarked
and the air is still,
the massive oak's ebony outline
before your ivory steeple
sparks a feeling within me
that has rarely occurred within your walls.
I am struck with a clarity of knowledge inside
this perfect slice
of time and space and purpose.
I can feel the presence of those before and after
their touch like that of the ash that falls from the burning logs
and is swept up by the rapid movement of the rising air
only to drop once again in the cooling sky.
to brush my upturned cheeks and rest
until an errant hair
wipes it away.
Like those ashes, the souls of others leave a trace
a smudge of gray
a mark upon me.
And every time my heart is moved beyond reason like this,
and I am caught off guard
like a child
as she witnesses her first Independence Day celebration;
so brilliantly sharp
so shockingly swift;
my throat catches
my feet falter.
I stumble before the beauty that is the
I cry at the briefness of these moments
these electric bursts in the sky,
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