Missing Church Again

Missing Church Again | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

"And finches, / cardinals, away from heaven, / as black seeds slide down their throats." Courtesy of Tony Alter/flickr CC BY 2.0.

Today, no song, God, repentance
ringing as words flute up through rafters.

What remains: a bird feeder heavy
with seed, like a soon-to-be

mother swaying. And finches,
cardinals, away from heaven,

as black seeds slide down their throats.
Nothing survives

this world without faith,
without rising out of oneself

into the dream of shared need.
It’s because I’m done kneeling

that I walk beneath the sky’s blue
vein as the pulse of my own

sadness widens there, until at last
it is enough to cut open

a bag of seed and drift. Please grant
me peace of mind and calm

my troubled heart. And what I mean is wings.
I mean singing and for small bodies

to shadow the yard. Funny, I can imagine
them falling through the temple

of silence, early morning burning
orange along the lip of the horizon.

I can imagine their bones
in some distant season, sticking out,

broken by a window.
I trust your Love, God. The wind

through their feathers, feathers
that shimmer in such severe light

for April, feathers just outside
my baby girl’s room,

the whole world
stunned with heat, raw.

Eric James Cruz is a high school English teacher and poet residing in San Antonio, Texas. He received his MFA in poetry from Warren Wilson.
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