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I'll be skipping Mass again this Easter
in favor of sitting at the end of this dock
watching dawn break into the mouth of the Rappahannock.
If the breeze is blowing the way it is today, the boat bumper
hung from that piling will still be swinging like a censer
and the pampas grass at the foot of that pier
will still be waving its palm-like leaves.

It's not the Dominus Flevit Church where,
on the Mount of Olives' western slope,
Jesus is said to have paused and wept,
and from the front pew of which,
through the arched window behind its altar,
one can see the Temple Mount,
beneath which, others say, the Divine Presence rests.

Still, I like to think that if Jesus had passed this way,
he would have paused here,
in which case there'd be a pew,
from which, as osprey sing in their loft overhead,
I could watch the river's tight-packed, white-capped swells
process like eager communicants eastward
toward the Bay to greet the risen sun.

Jeff Coughter

Naugatuck River Review

Summer / Fall 2016

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