The road to heaven

In Maytime, we leaned out of second-
floor windows to wait for a procession

of saints to pass our street. A band of rag-
tag brass led with solemn march, the off

tones somehow tender to the ear. Such
pageantry for which the neighbors put

together statues’ robes finished with a bit
of velvet trim, lace rick-rack at the cuff;

their crowns repainted with metallic sheen.
And bearing each aloft, a comely schoolgirl

hailed by us as queen and court: each gowned
and rouged as though the road to heaven

or at least to church was a kind of red
carpet, the people on each side occasionally

reaching out to touch a graven cheek or garment
hem, wrangling for a sliver of the holy.


In response to Via Negativa: Angler.

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