Shrine

racks of candles in the desert chapel
photographs of smiles
locks of hair taped to postcards of saints
folded notes lean against the statue of Jesus

at the ancient spring south of Kildare
strings with tin bells, ribbons, jewelry
and soggy cloth sacks
sway beneath rain slick limbs

beside the candles on the sidewalk
mourners place flowers in wreathes
or lay the single stem

converging rivers
like puddles at street corners
mix with oil and litter

the flame on the dresser gutters
as shadows question my bedroom wall

(Published in Dappled Things, Volume 11, Issue 2)