Poem: Saints of a Different Order


Saints of a Different Order

When I was a child, I hid in the church attic,
lying in wait
the the demons,
those creatures of evil the preacher assured me
were all around the sanctuary,
dark wraiths waiting to suck our souls dry
like some spiritual vampire.

At ten, they were more real to me than God,
and such was my faith in myself that I was certain
I could discover them and in a moment of surprise
destroy them with my cross and my small knife,
found a year earlier in the woods,
certain my years of Sunday School would be my shield
as I reduced the mighty to dust, more lethal than David
and his stones.

All the attic held, however, was the broken and forgotten,
relics, covered in dust, no longer worthy
to live in the holy places, and yet, I learned,
with each dusty box opened, there was still magic there,
still life beyond the banishment.
And so it came that I began to worship
in the dark places, finding God where others did not,
in the broken, in the left behind, finding in them not demons
but saints of a different order.

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