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Renae Broussard


Each week he comes,
The old man, regular as the church bells,
Carefully creaking
His painful steady way around the pews.

At his goal, he pauses,
The old man, dressed in his pressed best,
Reverent or resting
Before shakily flaming a candle anew.

Sure in purpose, if not balance, he kneels,
The old man, a picture of faith
Precariously perched
On one good knee for his prayer.

Finally finished, he unfolds uncertainly to stand.
The old man, moved by the moment,
Serene and secure,
Pauses before tottering off without a care.

Each week, she sits,
The young mother, a square peg forced into a round hole,
Doubting and distrustful,
Questioning all she is told.

While waiting, she watches,
The young mother, grateful for distraction,
Wondering and wishing,
Yearning for the comfort this man seems to hold.

With her children around her, she ponders,
The young mother, his story as yet untold.
Faithless and foundering,
She prays for him and his imagined kin, for peace to find them all.

Realization slowly forming, she admits,
The young mother, the strength the symbols carry,
Beginning belief,
She questions her doubt and kneels to start her call.

Each week, it burns.
The small flame, honoring all that has past,
Warming, welcoming