Creaks and cracks bounce off walls under the watch of Father Nicholas’s Jesus,
Hics and hacs as a sobbing boy wills his father back home in repeated prayers.
Once again – they are unheard by heaven – though he came in first for mass,
The pleading and begging drowned by the creaks and cracks of an empty church.
So he shoves bundles of his teary pain back like thorny stuffing into a silk pillow, and thus
Begins again the daily process of watching, on the chapel’s walls, sunrise’s multi-colours,
Seeping through stained glass, washing imitation frescoes of the carpenter’s wife and infant Jesus,
Before schoolmates pour in at 6:30 am, in groups of sleepy shuffles and bitter whispers.
How can Christ understand such pain when he had two fathers?