I love the Anglican church service, but more and more of it rings emptily to my ear.
The prayers are familiar. The smooth stone
Pillars bloom in the glancing light
Of April sun. The wooden pews
Remind you quietly to sit up straight,
As do the stained glass figures, who
Gaze from frozen heavenly zones
At what has come after them. Psalms
And hymns walk nicely in procession.
All is as it should be. Calm
And comfort reign. The sweet profession
Of faith and love and sacrifice
Is made again. The Sunday session
Exacts its modest reassuring price.
While in the doorway silent stand
Two figures skeletally thin,
Watchful and patient as the sky,
The sunlight on the pillar dims
To nothing, the cross is hoisted high,
The organ swells. We shake the vicar's hand.