Christ Church, by Diane Sahms-Guarnieri
Everything is stone as you enter. Colonial
death is everywhere. It weighs beneath the feet of
millions or more visitors; we sink into it.
Andrew Hamilton encased in cement – doors and
lock to vault rusted. Garden resonates life within
death. I ponder wildflowers in careless breeze
their blessed tongues silent. Sacredness of the living
and the dead. I, too, come as a wildflower stretching
in sun, breeze; am drawn down deeply beneath bricks, slabs.
Ashes mingle. Rising and setting suns. History
endures. Spirits mingle with clairvoyant. Pew of
George & Martha – I feel unworthy and worthy
to step into. The present belongs and does not
belong here. We share love for Philadelphia.
The tour guide eyes me in disbelief. A pulpit
like a mini-satellite reposes above
the congregators. A plaque bears witness to founders'
names. In sworn presence of all of this September
light, Time's hidden hymnal awakened! Rhythmic unison
triumphant melodious rounds – praising, freedom.
– Diane Sahms-Guarnieri
Diane Sahms-Guarnieri, 53 and a native Philadelphian, is currently the poetry editor of The Fox Chase Review and co-curates The Fox Chase Reading Series. Her first full-length collection of poetry, Images of Being (StoneGarden.net), was released October 2011. You can visit her at http://www.dianesahms-guarnieri.com