The Butler Pennsylvania Poems




Franklin Street



Franklin Street was
our cool cathedral to play in
vaulted high in green
with shards of light
breaking through leafy windows
to fall on mosaics
of brownish-yellow bricks
curbed by shaded aisles
flanked with patches of green
bordered by side-altar steps
where flowers threw off scents
like plumes of incense
and porches gave access
to narrow transepts
at whose distant end
a lone stained glass window
glowed reddish orange
for vespers and none.

We played different there
under that arching canopy
celebrating our rituals
with quiet fervor in restrained games
in a sanctuary more suited for prayer
between eight mighty pillars
flanking the nave, evenly spaced
bearing the weight of the arches—
or were they oaks?