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by Maureen Glaude

The organist begins the hymn
hushing the congregation as
the procession begins.

A little girl
in a flowered dress
carries a lit candle
down the aisle.

The green-robed choir
and the minister
follow her, singing
“Christ the Lord has risen today,

The little girl stares at the flame
and proceeds forward slowly
over the crimson centre aisle carpet.
Pride flushes her cheeks
and her smile blooms.

She passes the worshippers
of all ages
not seeing the faces
or how some of us yearn
for something she possesses.

Reaching the front,
she gingerly places
the candle down between white lilies
at the altar.

The choir files into their loft
the tenors and sopranos
reach their notes
voicing the lyrics of
celebration of hope
as the congregation joins in
the hymn.

Her task fulfilled, the child
joins her mother in their pew
as the minister initiates
the passing of the peace.

Greetings of “Peace be with You,"
responses of "And Also with You,"
and “Happy Easter”
fill the church.

Spring sunlight spills its morning rays
across the ceiling
and over the wooden pews.

We exchange smiles
and handshakes
secret sorrows burn within.

A tenor in the back row
performs his part
in the Alleluias
"Raise your joys and triumphs high!"

This evening
he will attend
his niece’s funeral
twenty-five and suddenly gone.

"Fought the fight, the battle won,

The minister delivers his sermon
proclaiming this day’s elation
the eternal life and hope symbolic.

In my pew near the back
I contend with recent family tragedies
but restrain my tears
for a little girl in a flowered dress
has carried a lit candle down the aisle

all the while, smiling.


Posted on 03/27/2005
Copyright © 2021 Maureen Glaude

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Chris Sorrenti on 03/28/05 at 02:50 PM

Evocative piece of narrative poetry, full of warmth and hope, but also tinged with sadness, loss, not unlike life itself. Happy (belated) Easter Mo.

Posted by Michelle Angelini on 02/24/07 at 04:43 AM

With the Easter holiday approaching, your poem reminds me that in Christ all things are possible - even through the sad and dark. For just like the little girl lit the dark with the candle, so does Christ light our lives. Thank you for this reminder Mo. Be blessed.

Posted by Elizabeth Jill on 04/10/09 at 10:40 PM

w e e p i n g

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