The Chapel

When I send you this perhaps your training as
psychiatrist will make you think I mean
to send it to you. I cry out for help
but not in your direction anymore
than in the chapel. Never, since it closed.

Free association costs too much.
I’m not short of sense but have been trained
to not spend pennies in the marshes of my mind.
The blobs of white against mind’s background black
are fairy lights that foul my reason’s lenses.

Is Reynolds Price convulsing when he writes
of operations and continuing life
when all that Jesus said was, ‘You’re forgiven’?

I never cried in chapel, never went.

The winds tonight address complaining masts
with lines left naked when we took the sails
inside to winter where their salt will dry.

The tear stains in the chapel are not mine.

The sunrise service that Mother drove us to
made Jesus think how burning fossil fuels,
accelerating Armageddon’s date,
meant no one needs repair the chapel roof.

‘How do you know?’ a demon of the wind
inquires of me, ‘Why breathe of this? Why write?’

I thrice deny the chapel ever was.

Jackdaws and magpies crow the crack of dawn.
No couplets come to end up sonnet-wise
and the rains come down from where it’s specially dark.

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