Concert at St. Mark's, San Antonio
by Carol Coffee Reposa

for Janice

The 20-something virtuoso
In his white silk jacket
Strides down the center aisle,
Ribbed vaults above him, ornate pews
On either side. Beyond them
Glittering windows
Show the Annunciation,
Moses in the Bulrushes.
The soloist reaches the chancel,
Bows to the audience
Takes his seat before the Steinway.

I think of parishioner
Robert E. Lee stepping out
Of his stained glass chrysalis
To sit by me,
Carefully positioning his sword
So it won't clatter in the pew.
He's donned his best dress uniform
For the occasion,
Trimmed his beard
Scraped the mud from his boots.

The pianist begins
With an impromptu
But his incandescent hands
Set fire to the keyboard
And he takes us outside
To cool off
In Schubert's rippling brook.
Then we walk
Through Beethoven's moonlit field,
Briefly view the Danube.

If we stay here long enough,
Maybe Lee will sit out Chancellorsville
And miss the road to Gettysburg.
Maybe the bronze Confederate in the park
Will drop his Sharps.
Then the rest of us
Can make our way
Back to the sanctuary,
Sifting through the ashes
For slivers of ebony and ivory,
Maybe one lingering spark.

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