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Christ Church, by Diane Sahms-Guarnieri

Christ Church

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 (, was released October 2011.  You can visit her at