sanctuary

sanctuary
should always be
wherever we find
ourselves.

Any time.

Any place.

but all is not
sanctuary

unless we cloister
ourselves behind
ivy-laden walls,
broken only occasionally
by wrought iron gates
or leaded pieces
of tinted glass shards.

pink panes permit
a diffuse light to enter
from the
outside world
and its violent churn

until sundown

after which
a dim light escapes
from within
as we light our candles
for all the souls
both lost and
waiting to be found

Somewhere.

Out there.

by day
or by night,
no one sees clearly
through the glass.

ever.

As it was, I suspect,
always intended.

ancient bells
briefly break our chores
as we pray

but broken only briefly

while the tolling calls us
to evening vespers,
and we walk
prayerfully
silently

from hall to chapel
where we sing
and pray some more.

chapel to cell
where we pray
then sleep

until the familiar
life-knell
before sunrise
call us to it

again.

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