Repointed arches, one door, and the
chuff chuff of a tractor on the glebe,
not the dray of horses. To speak
with a voice more suddenly my own.
As silently as time can whippet,
swallows wicker on the evening air.
Return to brick, few remain
between directions of modernity.
Though plumb and fast, square at least
upon one corner, little is
placed where they left it, matchlocks
and steel plows against the wilderness.
Is it less now, when we have made
a monument and token for
ourselves among the spoken walls
and, redolent of singing, choir?
Once fallen, are they the less, so
laboriously as they were piled,
sunlight angled on the mortar
stippling a prayer to evening?
Is this past dead, or do we have
in it a vision of a purer
arch, completed rondel, and a
firmer door like the faith that was?
By David King
The fourth poem from Virginia Churches, a series of 8 poems on colonial churches.
Copyright 2004 by David King.
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry 360 with permission of the author.