by J.K. Durick

Across the sidewalk three women
are kneeling saying their beads

just loud enough, a “full of grace”
or two blend with the afternoon

a volunteer stands guard by the door,
solemnly watching, anticipating

traffic still slows a bit sometimes
as if witnesses were needed now

after all these years the scene says
enough about our time and place

the odd balance of players, of prayers
our oddly delicate balance of freedom.

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