Lilies On The Altar

There are lilies on the altar
a bride in vintage lace
a crow out on the church steps
keen to get inside the place.

The priest is in the sacristy
his thumb is on the verse
that tells him how to break the host,
the family line, the curse.

There are lilies on the altar
a bridesmaid feeling sick
folding origami lilies
she'll burn like candle wicks.

There are lilies for the flower girl
now five winters old.
She calls the crow who calls the bride
who pales at what she's told.

The groom is ill, the priest is dead
with lilies in his hand.
The crow returns, the church roof burns
and publishes the banns.


Sherry Blue Sky said…
WOW! There are tales within tales in this most amazing poem. I want to know more. Fantastic!
Carrie Van Horn said…
I love the rhyme and fast portent of doom. I think the wedding is off for sure. Another amazing poetic tale by you Shay! You always put me in a state of awe every single time!!!
hedgewitch said…
First, I love it when you rhyme, and here it really adds to the feeling that something is terribly wrong with this wedding, which surely should have music more cheerful and less eerie than this witch's chant of a tune. But when you're cursed, these things happen. Loved every word of this seamless little gothic tale, especially the second stanza, and the origami flowers burning along with the roof.
hedgewitch said…
PS And it has my favorite tag, too.
Maude Lynn said…
Oh, I wish that I hadn't read this before I try to write this morning. This is so creepy perfect. I love it when you rhyme.