To hell with that winter blue sky, its cold
grace like the miraculous medal I had
to wear against my hairless chest. When
the phoenix of the faithful was a painting
of the sacred heart hung above the fireplace,
the faded virgin broke her plaster cast neck
only to be fixed with a collar of elastoplast
so we could still kneel before her and pray;
me with my glow-in-the dark rosary beads.
These days darkness drops like the head
of a black saint statue whose neck is
now a wooden peg.
When prayer was believed
Back then white lost its innocence,
I was numbed by a nuptial where
the bride converted and wore black.
Those jackdaws flapping their wings
like black mantillas, their call cracks
these silent white days. Blinding white
like an altar cloth. When prayer was believed,
amidst priests, all monochrome like winter trees,
I would kneel; an innocent young boy
without a why. Your peace is now too cold
for my body and its needs. I prefer to be here,
where fire is more than a candle, and less than hell.
Copyright © Kevin Reid 2014