The air is stiff,
as stiff as my spine
against naked wooden pews.
Solemn murmurs glide
from pillar to pillar
as crackling fabric
gnaws at my skin.

Bursts of color—
draping bouquets,
lonely rose
on Grandma’s lapel;
filtered light and dust
spill through stained glass.

A figure in white,
glowing like an angel,
swings a pendulum over you,
a ball and chain, tethering,
tolling your bell.

Above, His face,
peaceful and pained,
hopeful and weary for you.
Later, your own lined face
would be seen,
as closed as in living sleep.

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