Our Lady of the Angels of Collioure
by James Gaines


Cool tunnels through the stunning light
Lead to a gathering point of gold
The saints lined up like friends at an inn
Welcome travelers to their daily cluster
Helpful Chris, busy Tony, Terry the intense
Joe silent as ever knowingly nods
Disrobing flowers in absidal chapels
Display their offering of elixir
Yet in this holy intimacy
I am not reluctant to ask
For the most usual refreshment
Assurances to relax my twitchy mind
Or soothe the over-travelled conscience
Prayers finish with a last dazzling sip
I pass up an offering to the polished olive wood box
To leave it in a crumpled plastic cup
Held out by the vestibule tramp who mutters
Euro grace and benedicity









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