[37] Our Lady Burning, Kevin C. Shyne

In a faded photograph
of Paris, my younger self
a child of God
poses with the world’s beloved crone
dwarfed by Notre Dame’s façade
her ancient portals crowned
by gospels told in stone.

You were in nursing school
as unaware of me as I of you
my future bride.
Who’d have known
the day our lady burned
we’d suffer side by side?

We watched in horror,
the present burning up our past
as if our 40 years as one
we’re felled by flame at last.

As if our lady wept
for a thousand-year-old oak
her shoulders shrouded by
a raveled shawl of smoke.

As if her tears
could keep the fire
from blackening a wedding photograph
our younger faces beaming
in the unburned half.

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