I don’t know why I still feel nostalgic
for autumns wrapped in God’s company:
the green iron gate, the misty churchyard,
and the yellow leaves falling from the trees.

From a bench I watch as an old woman.
makes her way toward the heavy church doors,
soberness follows her steps like a deep sleep:
her feet have carried her here many times before.

I cannot imagine her sins vex her anymore
than a tear in her coat or a ripped seam;
the arched wings of the church entrance
hang over her slumber like a vaulted dream.

Later on, I steal into the vestibule,
and am pleased by the monotonous prayer,
the smell of stale incense and burning wax,
and the high, dusty feeling of abandoned air.

But I cannot stay; outside God tosses a shower
of rain down like a blessing. I breathe in the decay;
I am happy and would gladly be
His patron saint of this wet, October day.