Susan Wicks

They stand here in a shocked silence,
these grouped bodies in cold dresses,
their eyes downcast; the hands quietly gesture
from this flaking grotto of wishes.

But something flares in a corner –
gladioli, tongues spurting into darkness:
someone has been here before us.

Is it food these people are asking
or their freedom? We wrench the heavy door open
on a flat world, an ordinary crossroads,
silos swaying in a hot ripple.

This is not the chapel
we were looking for, these are not
gods we ever worshipped. We walk out into a rising
hot breath, the give of our tarry footprints.