The Church On Eighth Avenue
by Dale Jordan Heath

The moon-faced boy loiters
in the aisle of his mother's church.
Her tired arms retrieve him,
he mutters simple sayings
into worn ears.
The boy towers over her,
in his lumbering way, paces
like someone without
a place to go.
The second pew is cold
as mother and child conduct
their Sabbath ritual.
Deafening whispers of the righteous
mute the pastoral prodding
to love and accept.
withdrawal of hands
from their distraction
slice away at the fraction
of hope in a mother's heart
now relegated to a dark corner
where eyes can forget
the pattern of footsteps
and simple lips muttering
of a moon-faced son.

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