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Church on Piper Mountain

Christopher L. Dornin

Church on Piper Mountain

Our village church
Had a balding minister,
A white- haired congregation
And a two-part choir.
All of them are long dead.
We sometimes gathered in a high
Place far from the road.
Its vestries of blueberries shivered

Low to the rock in generations
of moss. We took the elements
up the climb to a granite throne
that faced the wind shadows
of Lake Winnisquam. A hawk
in slow, primal glide
circled the infinite vaults
of the nave. The nails that bound
together the worm-lettered
beams of a wilderness cross
rusted into feathers. We sang
a cappella in pews
sculpted by the Ice Age.
A man with a cane led
Us down the easy trail
To our altered lives in the valley.

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