St. Joseph, Abscondus
He's missing from the only kind of heaven
We have left in Homestead—the plate-headed saint
Who stood sentinel above Saint Michael's,
Dozing on duty through the great dismantling
Of the mills, and then that of the congregation,
The days of solemn supplication piling up.
The diocese has been busy cutting losses ever since,
Saint Mary's the first to close, her biblical picture
Windows sold as well as the copper downspouts,
The basement now mosaicked with mold.
To which negligence you can add Saint Michael's,
Boarded up, its statue missing as if derelict
Or salvaged from the masthead of the wreckage.
Prairie Schooner Summer 2013
Copyright © 2013 by Robert Gibb
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission