There is a cathedral
hemlocks make:

those soaring columns,
sturdy enough to shoulder heaven,

raise high a vault
of evergreen thatch

to shade this unexpected sanctuary
the trail reverently enters.


I hear the undertones of evensong
when the wind stirs the highest boughs,

dropping tiny cones at my feet,
like so many mustard seeds,

the ground swept clear of weeds
by fallen needles woven together like prayers.


The impenitent glare of the sun
has been politely ushered out

and everything that echoes inside me
is suddenly hushed,

as if a service
were about to start

or the voice of silence
about to speak.


© 2006 Al Hudgins


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