An Empty Church
A church is holier when it is empty,
by Patrick O'Reilly
When every private step echoes off the ceiling,
Like ripples of solemn sound
And the candles stand unlit,
No little ripples in the holy water.
When it is only you,
Sitting alone with a carpenter.
Just you, the reliefs of Christ,
Whose eyes follow you from the cross,
Like the eyes of birds in the cedar trees.
A virgin's eyes turned downward
In Sunday's mourning.
No organs moaning
No matter how quietly you grumble a few psalms
Or work your way through the rosary
They all float into the rafters,
Only to be heard by a carpenter and a virgin.