Sitting quietly in this place
I can almost hear dust settling on the pews.
A preacher’s voice ebbing away inside my thoughts
as though the space of a hundred years
waited for me to attend this moment.
Boarded windows are a gesture against
the light that once fell easy on their faith.
And where light shows through a gap in a door,
seemingly going nowhere,
I watch the wind pick at a spider’s web
as it moves to the tune of a hymn I once knew.
There is nothing of worth here,
only the stone that waits to be salvaged
by a night raider.
And maybe, when they sit at the fireplace
built from a wall of a darkened corner,
fingers will probe the initials of a bored child,
and they may remember that tune I once knew.
I had forgotten the value of the silence,
a place where, in the dust,
I can still hear that final Amen.

Rowland Hughes ©