Steeple Sign



Drive her past the church,
and she just might
confess all, the small
things she hid all these
years, and the big white
one she wore on her

She’ll take the ashes
with a swelling throat,
a critical narrowing of her
brow and soul, cry
hoarsely toward all
things pointed sky

She’s addicted
to the drooling sensation
of absolute bliss;
knows she wears a collar of
greater severity than

Prompted by an awesome word list from my Shawna.




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4 Responses to Steeple Sign

  1. coalblack says:

    That last stanza has had its Wheaties.

  2. I like the idea that she’s found her own way and feels stronger for it – she’s gotten to “absolute bliss” — despite all her troubles – without help from the steeple.

  3. mood wings says:

    I’m uber intrigued by this: “and the big white one she wore on her sleeve” … It makes me think of 1) a secret that’s hidden right up front and center, 2) a big white lie, instead of a little one, and 3) a wedding dress … a big fat frilly/lacy/gaudy one. 😉 Oops. Maybe she knows in her heart she shouldn’t have been allowed to wear white. :X

    “She’ll take the ashes” … I like this. It’s Ash Wednesday, and it’s post-cremation sentiments. It’s also maybe what’s left after a church (or the idea of it) burns down. There’s a burial of whatever’s weighing this girl down. And then there’s a rising from the ashes. A remembrance of what was, but mostly a whole lot of letting go.

    “a critical narrowing of her” … I’m so sick of this. Bleck.

    brow and soul, cry
    hoarsely toward all” … Take out the commas, and this is something very powerful.

    I always like “ward” on its own because it draws forth imagery of caring for and guiding children, particularly those without a home.

    “Ward, she’s addicted.”
    “Oh, June. Do you think so?”
    “Yes, Ward. … to the drooling sensation.”
    “Oh heavens, June. What are we going to do?!”

    Sorry. I couldn’t help myself. 😉 Leave It to Beaver rules. Leave it to beaver-rules.

    Dude. This is awesome: “knows she wears a collar of[f]” … this is like a priest get-up reference. She knows she’s supposed to be spiritually presentable, but man she can’t help but take the “collar” off. I suppose this is why: “She’s addicted to the drooling sensation of absolute bliss”

    I can’t help but think she’s feeling like she’s got it worse than Jesus, which of course can’t be true. But don’t we do that? Think we suffer the worst circumstances in the world? Ridiculous.

    Seriously, though. She’s comparing herself, and her “vows,” to the priest’s. He’s married to the church and is bound to chastity and purity. But her marriage is even tougher, in myriad ways, I presume. At least the priest knows God’s love for him is infallible. Not so regarding the man she’s married to.

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