I remember an old church
carved out of the back of a cave.
I am sure I was not supposed
to discover the practitioners’ secret.
But it rained too violently
when I was bicycling
and serendipity brought me
to the cave entrance.
It was the lingering incense
that emboldened me
past my fear of inclosed spaces
and that the earth desired to swallow me.
After a tight squeeze going upward
a dry gallery opened
with signs of the cross
and a crude alter of cut stone.
A bronze censer with its lid off
contained thick ashen residue.
A silver plate held dried out bread crumbs.
A crystal chalice wore smudged finger prints.
The walls exhibited red pigmented hand prints
and stick-figure stations of the cross.
I left my travelers medallion on the alter
as a sign and offering.
Then I left the sanctuary, the cave,
to re-entered the waning storm.
copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney
Although I have bicycled over 30k miles in my life and had my progress halted by severe storms on occasion, I have never found a cave to wait out the storm. So this poem is a fancy, a fiction to delight my imagination.