After the service and reception hour
the church is locked, and what was in the air
is left to settle out, the hymns and prayers,
the candle smoke, the fragrance of flowers,
and the last living soul, who checks the doors
and calls out into the echoing restrooms,
discovers, in the sanctuary, great looms
of sunlight broken into all of its colors
by the stained glass windows, as if Christ
with his outstretched hand were threading
blues and greens, warm yellows and reds
into a warp of silence and a weft of dust
soon to be spread out over the matted carpet
with the faint wheel tracks of the departed.
Ted Kooser‘s most recent book is KINDEST REGARDS; NEW AND SELECTED POEMS, from Copper Canyon Press, 2018. He lives in rural Nebraska.