I took you to see churches in hot countries.
You admired the architecture, peeked inside
the giant ribcage but found no heart, only
empty pews for empty people. Sometimes,
you strolled majestically up the spine
towards the altar, like a bride without her groom.
You practised your own vows but your words
got stuck between the shoulder blades
and withered. I explained the tabernacle
and you thought of the sea, creatures clinging
to worn out rock, washed by the salt of ages.
Years later, you said the organ frightened you.
You would’ve preferred flutes or saxophones.
And those men dressed like crows made you feel
as naked as a field of corn after harvest,
all stubble and stunted growth.
Nowadays, you take your own children
to hot countries too. But you stay away
Diana Devlin is a Scottish-Italian poet who previously worked as a translator, lexicographer and teacher. Her work has been published in The Lake, The Blue Nib, The Poets’ Republic and The Stray Branch, amongst others.