Adoration Chapel after Spanish Mass
Little girls are in their mothers’ mantillas;
men are on their knees on the polished stone;
a black-headed baby in loving olive arms sighs
and the old man sitting by me with thick glasses
and a cane resting between his legs drops off
in a twilight of sadness, gratitude, adoracion.
Let them all – toda la gente – take my cynical heart
and hold it up in their devotion, their outstretched
palms to the gold monstrance before us with its
white Son shining down on us. I ask for their gift
of survival as I seek self-loathing like some
wounded beast for a leafy refuge, a creature
hiding from light. Save me through them; save
me with them in the small chapel of these days.
Fred Gallagher is an editor with Good Will Publishers, the parent company of TAN Books/Saint Benedict Press. He has authored three books on bereavement, three children’s books and published poetry in college journals. As he continues to write poetry, his focus more and more has turned to poems with specifically Catholic references, themes, and questions.