Cathedral Advent


Cathedral Advent


The heavy oak doors swing

slow and ponderous beneath my push;

snow swirls with me into the hush,

 into this sacred place of waiting,

this place of ancient Advents.


Above my pew warm candles flicker

in sconces of brass, glowing gold

 on cold marble columns,

lessening the chill

in the vast echoing arch

of this consecrated space.


Diffuse, misty light of pink and grey,

shifting like sea skies at dawn,

fills the great soaring chamber

and I remember now, me down below,

 so small that I stood

on the cracked leather kneeler.


High in the transept sunlight pours

through stained glass saints making holy fire,

jeweled colors spill like muted rainbows

into the great vault above,

where the pine scent wafts

from green boughs below.


On the deep amber woodgrain

of the pew I once clung to,

is a polished brass clamp

for a gentlemen’s hat, gleaming

on the sheen of this wood

with its surface like silk,

polished from years of sliding

Sunday-best garments.


The fragrance of memory surrounds me now,

the old hymnal’s fragile pages,

the warm melting beeswax,

a ghostly trace of my mother’s perfume,

and the faint sweet scent of ancient incense

long ago risen to heaven,

with my little girl prayers.


 Tara Flaherty Guy


Tara Flaherty Guy is a recovering career zoning enforcement official, recently retired. She has a BA in Creative Writing from Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, Minnesota and currently works as a contributing writer at St. Paul Publishing Company.  Her work has been published in Ariel Chart, Yellow Arrow Journal, Talking Stick Literary Journal, and Adelaide Literary Magazine.  Her newest work is forthcoming in the Death Throes Magazine and the St. Paul Almanac. Guy lives in Minnesota with her husband and three patronizing cats.


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