Sunday morning; the gym is full.
In pain, the Celebrant arises — from weight
bench, bicycle and rubber floor mat,
his chosen stations of the cross.
His iPhone cradled in one hand
before him, reverently he passes — to where
the music’s loudest, the lights are brightest,
to where the mirrors and the racks
of free weights are.
Head bowed, he strikes a pose,
then lifts his arms and hands on high,
as if calling forth some chiseled god
within him— and snaps his offering
to The Cloud.
Beneath the murals,
the fluted cornice, the plaster ceiling
and its ornate scrolls
on wooden plagues
and in glass cases, bolted
to the walls and floors
no mention made
of where the rioting began.
Grey and smooth
from lack of use, those stairs
are sealed, are hidden.
Two arcs of textured
wallboard, painted grey
to match the fluted cornice
and the plaster walls
now mute the screams
of black girls in white heat.
All afternoon, she kneels
near the water’s edge between erratic
and petrified tree trunk, her feet cooled
by the rising tide, her hair streaked
with summer’s gold.
Unaware of Inuit and Greek,
of Druid and Viking, of obelisk and dolmen,
of Stonehenge and runestone, of far off mountain
trails and passes, of mounds of snow-white bones,
weighing the sunlight with her hands, she balances
one rock on another, the column rising slowly
stone by stone before her.
She has no fear of getting lost,
no thought of honoring the dead. It is enough
to keep this moment balanced, to get each stone in place
before the little girl is gone.
Bob Meszaros taught English at Hamden High School in Hamden, Connecticut, for thirty-two years. He retired from high school teaching in June of 1999. During the 70s and 80s his poems appeared in a number of literary journals, such as En Passant and Voices International. In the year 2000 he began teaching part time at Quinnipiac University, and he began once again to submit his work for publication. His poems have subsequently appeared in The Connecticut Review, Main Street Rag, Red Wheelbarrow, Tar River Poetry, Concho River Review, and many other literary journals.