Through the fourteen stations of the cross
Paul said nothing while groping around
for what was holy about this montage.

The only remaining voice in his head said
You are closer to God than his heart breaking.
I love you

The elongation of late afternoon light
colored the garden walkway
with golden hues.

He knew he should be going—
away from other people’s holy space
leaving a ripple of air behind him.

There were so many spirits lingering here
unaware Charon’s pier was not
at the entry to these stations.

The weary sighs of the waiting
tore at him like he was a blessed loaf of bread
on a pedestrian altar.

He sensed this was not a typical day.
The voice behind and below his right ear said
Whistle a happy tune.

As he whistled bird calls he thought
how Pied Piper of Hamelin
to lead the dead away from the churchyard.

They followed him to the stonewall
at the edge of an orchard outside of town.
They rushed over the river of the setting sun’s rays.

Heading home Paul passed the churchyard
and in the dusk saw how much brighter
the stain glass parables shown illuminated from the inside.

As he entered his warm home
he knew he did not understand his madness
or ill-defined beliefs.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney

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