In a House of Holy Words
Margaret A. Trapnell
In a house of holy words,
silence grows as minds sink into solemn contemplation.
Women breathe the scent of prayer
like incense drifting in waking air.
Bodies shift and shuffle;
a dry cough, a delicate sneeze, stifled,
trying not to disturb the atmosphere
dense with communal breath.
A book explodes onto the floor
hurling surprise throughout
but the silence recovers
and softly descends
from lofty reaches of window and wood.
Then time tumbles in this holy house,
abandoning linear measure
as an early sunbeam skates across the floor.