To a Shuttered Church

by Bob Schwartz

To a Shuttered Church

The route I walked
passed the church
alone among the ordinary
it seemed ten times taller
a hundred times more quiet
than the buildings and traffic.
The pews were mostly empty
but glory and beauty abide and never care.
Back tables stacked with votive candles
slots asking for a dollar a prayer
pray the church would be there
not to fulfill a prophecy
just to grace the street and every day.
The wooden doors are barred
a signed fenced perimeter
as it awaits its foregone fate
though butterflies still flock
to the flowering bushes
not knowing the difference
good for them.
I do not walk that route anymore
but when I see a candle burning
I am there where it was and will be.
Tear down the church or
surround it with one more box
the light is sure.

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