As the Last Mass Ended

after St. Dymphna of Gheel

I saw him by the tallest column,
knife in his belt, sword in his hand.
The broad dome of the ceiling seemed
to slide to the church floor. Light moved
like ice in a muddy river. And then
there were voices: shouts and supplications,
commands for me to run, and run
I must have done. Now the sun
rolls below the earth
and all the saints who saved me
are dead. It will be a cold, cold night
without the hard hands
of a priest to wake me at day.

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