Two or More

by Lawrence Hopperton

1. Private Chapel
Picture someone like a pope
in prayer, a tiny chapel.
Altar servers murmur latin
robes raised in personal praise.
We did that in choir school.
We recited the responses
didn’t know what they meant
but could participate at the feet
of the meditative moment.    
2. Morning Prayer
Summer Sunday shine
sweat to the porch doors, to 
the narthex greeting friends.
Where is the priest, the process?
Hymns with bits of choir scattered
through the congregation chanting
in old-style: prayer and readings,
a sermon partially scripted
testimonies our chosen 
chants in thin alto
we answer with summer
and the organ plays us out
side the sanctuary.  We linger.
We talk together.
3. Morningsong
Spiders seek boundaries
transitions tether
and triangulate structure
grow gossamer cathedral
forests with sunscreen and naps
swim to the island and back.
Search for wood. Cut the length
and stomp it. I will teach you to
tinder and kindle with games
and saw stories rouse
tomorrow with morning song
perhaps this one.
4. First Sunday after Covid
Capacity is limited to 25 percent
and the sacristy is as full as that.
Livestream works. The piano
prelude picks up well.
Our pastor processes to a soloist,
a cantor waiting for her time
at a distant peace. Prayer
and real people to respond
to this first communion.
The chalice is re-silvered.
Isolation ends with sanitizer
space between pews. We are
one voice humming through masks.
It’s good to praise with people.

Lawrence Hopperton lives in Stouffville Ontario. His first chapbook, Songs of Orkney and Other Poems was published by SWOP press in 1983, and his second chapbook, Ptolley Bay, published by Lyrical Myrical Press 2013.  His first full collection, Table for Three, was published by En Route Books and Media in 2021, and his next collection, Such Common Stories will appear in late 2022 from En Route Books.

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