Like Startled Moths

January 24, 2012 § Leave a comment

She tiptoed forward and blinked at the lifeless courtyard.

She hesitated, then gently tapped the tubular chimes.

Like startled moths wafting out from a wool sweater,

The wheezing monks appeared out of nowhere.

They gathered about her in a flurry of good-natured panic,

And hurried her along to the broad wooden gate

Festooned with foil packets of curry powder

That rattled and gleamed in the hazy sunlight.

In a daze, she glanced toward the rows of Iceland poppies

Growing on either side of the steps.

An unshaven novitiate handed her a pennywhistle,

A clothespin, and a peppery sandwich,

And reverently gestured toward the ornate doors at the top of the steps.

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