|Ressurection II 1945, Sir Stanley Spencer|
at the patchwork fervor of September leaves,
piety's handmaidens meet to piece;
giddy with ambition,
they splay the Star of Bethlehem quilt out
with its half-built rainbow of spokes.
Each voluble quilter wants to go to heaven;
stitching, several speak the Word.
Then they break bread,
faces etched with Old World craqueleur,
suffused chatter fading into dusk
like the Tenebrae of dreaming doves.
With their brethren in laity
they throng the unschooled choir
and rehearsing the requiem foreign
to their plain mouths,
whisper enmity at an arriviste--
a young lyric soprano in the front row.
How much they hate her
for the larksong she has bestowed
upon the congregation and the clan!
So it is they put away
their piecing, the luminous quilt embroidered
with Episcopal Women of Hastings,
to be presented in a ribbon-cutting
for the new children’s clinic on Raintree Road.
Spotting the willowy thing praying
alone in the nave,
they group, waiting for her,
fingering the sterling crosses at their throats,
their dark straw hats skewered through
with faux-pearl pins,
casting her out of Babylon
with envy's ruthless stones.
copyright Jenne' R. Andrews 2013