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Cathedral of Ash
 (for Bernard Law, Cardinal Archbishop of Boston)

We’re amazed the air
has stood still this
long. Just a touch

will scatter one of the skeletal
saints guarding the door.
How careful darkness must be

to gather deadness and
sculpt it to a shell of such
beauty.  We hesitate

to breathe.  All our lives.
Darkness counts on this.
But how can air do

other than flow and when
it does lift the ash away,
how can we pretend

surprise at the stench below?

- Rick Stansberg

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