In a Chapel Near the Loire by Elisabeth Murawski

rustic stone chapel on a river
Church of the Good Shepherdby Bernard Spragg. CC license.

The pulpit floats high above
the chairs. She cranes
her neck to see, twists

a little clockwise
to hear. The priest’s
suspended there

for his flock. Which soil
to avoid? Which rock?
The Bible’s chained

to the lectern, each page
a work of art.
Needles of heat.

Through the window
a cloudless sky the blue
of Mary’s cloak,

a furnace of crows
relentless as her fears
of hell, of dying

alone, that her prayers
court a God
who needs no one.

Elisabeth Murawski
Elisabeth Murawski is the author of Heiress, Zorba’s Daughter, which won the May Swenson Poetry Award, Moon and Mercury, and three chapbooks. Still Life with Timex won the Robert Phillips Poetry Chapbook Prize. A native of Chicago, she currently lives in Alexandria, Va.

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