local_library Holy Sunday

by Kira Compton

Published in Issue No. 223 ~ December, 2015

Bells ring through the city:

11:00 a.m. mass.

I am not religious

But church bells are heard

By the devout and lonely both,

So like a fish drawn by glittering bait,

I walk through steep church doors.


But the comfort others find does not find me.

The parishioners all know each other and

I am a stranger by paper cups of coffee.

If God is here, He is silent,

Perhaps expecting more devotion than hesitant curiosity

From a lonely girl.


So I run,

A sinner from the churchyard,

Towards cheaper comforts.


Down Boylston and Newbury

Past stores and cafes and

Stores and stores and stores

Past a homeless woman whose words have the cadence of a hymn:


“Can you spare a dollar? I need a dollar.”


Eyes on eyes, I stutter no, no dollars to spare

And walk away.

Behind me she asks in that same voice:


“Can you spare a dollar? I need a dollar.”


I could not spare a dollar but I have

Forty-five in my wallet, and, seeking existential comfort, spend

Twenty-five on a quiche and sausage in a restaurant

That takes reservations and serves

Olive oil and champagne at breakfast.

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Kira Compton is a Midwestern-born coward with an affinity for scary stories, meaning she lives in a state of constant dread. When not writing, she can be found on stage, usually as some sort of comic relief character. Her work has been published in Gauge Magazine and Emerson's STRETCH academic journal.