White Wings

White Wings
by Ron Rash

Tucked in each pew’s back pocket,
hymnals simmered in mote dust
until Sundays when the soiled
rough hands of farmers lifted
those songbibles, pages spread
like white wings being set free,
but what rose was one voice
woven from many, and heard
by Jason Storey who stood
in a field half an acre
of gravestones away, mute as
a fence post while neighbors sang
inside the church doors he swore
never to pass through after
wife and son died in childbirth,
that long ago Christmas 4when
three days of snow made the road
to Blowing Rock disappear,
the doctor brought on horseback
arriving too late. Decades
Jason Storey would remain
true to his word, yet was there
in that field come rain or cold,
but came no closer, between
church and field two marble stones,
angel-winged, impassible.

     Hub City Press, 2011

White Wings