A poem by Kathryn de Leon
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She drifts down the aisle alone,
no elbow to lead her, an unloved bride.
No groom waits at the altar.
She is giving herself away.
Her steps are confused.
She is swaying as she speaks loudly
to the startled minister at the pulpit.
Her words are slurred, colliding with each other.
The minister responds calmly.
Their exchange is not clear.
We are waiting with the patience
of the church’s stained glass windows.
They have caught the afternoon light and will not let go.
Blue, red, violet, yellow surround us.
This wounded woman doesn’t fit in this glowing halo of colour.
“My husband is dead!”
Her shout doesn’t belong amidst the holiness of today’s
hymns and prayers.
It hangs in the air.
There is nowhere for it to go.
The afternoon has darkened.
A man with a soft face gently escorts the woman out,
a quiet recessional as the minister offers a prayer.
She is leaving the stained glass and her terrible words behind.
She is going back to a life
drained of colour,
while we stay in the silent church
bathed in brilliance.