Poetry

St. Michael’s Church of Sneem

In the center of town I sit
I’ve been this way for many years
Forever changing yet staying the same

On the outside I am a sight
Stones make me strong, majestic
I am tall and watch over the village

On the inside, I feel plain, modest
White walls, plank pews
Provincial beams form my simple crown

People come and go
Locals and visitors
Births, deaths, and rituals in between

A haven in this rural place
I open my doors for all
I am a gateway to heaven

But something has changed
Now fewer people come
Is it something I have done?

There’s no joyous music here
Only words, stuttering words
Drone uninspiring on seemingly deaf ears

Stand, sit, kneel, repeat
Professing their faith in imperfect harmony
Waiting to receive spirit, grace, forgiveness

They sit quietly, no talking is the rule
Children giggle, parents scold
Follow along, follow along

But my doors open then slam before we’re through
Worshipers late to arrive and early to leave
No mingling in a town full of minglers

Something’s happened here
Now fewer people stay
Have I done something to push them away?

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