Finding My Mom’s Choir Robe

They sang, Sunday chorus, practiced perfect pitch

always in three pew rows, their robes bright

white, Saturday washed and ironed, starched

to make the pleats sharp as the polished rims

of shining pipes forge edged steel, the quick stops

and fervid pace of pump pedal pressing

An array of urgent hymns, composed down centuries

by ghost writers, composers poised, edge of their seat

for adoration inspiration, fervid supplication, messages

mingling in tradition, perfect harmonies arranged

for exaltation, pen to lip, intent, eyes ever upward

reflected in a Sunday morning’s melody of rise and praise

I was present for it, attending on their strains

of living life for the future, today, all of them gone

their pure raised voices, echo in the hereafter, their choir

of passionate desire, I hear them, still their songs

carved in stone, my memory, voices faint and fainter fade

toward a heaven I may have seen back in my time there

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