Merciful – A Seasonal Poem

In the old church

the everywoman

is veiled all so in black,

tears shed for her father

a sole bell rung slow to remember,

the rite of good men

standing bare headed

in collarless shirts, waiting —

flickering candles, a flame

on the Gothic high altar

staining, the angelic glass

a smoldering darkness

for a Hymn sung over the grave fresh

dug, spaded into a mound

of rain blistered stones

changing mud into mystery —

entropic, the corpse grey-cold

in a coffin to be lowered

merciful, this alone alchemy —

transformation through Death.


Ted McNamara