By Roy Beckemeyer - Wichita, Kansas, USA - 3 December 2016


...will anything serve, short of a genuflection?

Billie Collins


As for genuflection, that pause

when crossing before the tabernacle,

the knees bending, the head bowed,

hands pressed together as if a flower

were flattened there, or a memory

compressed, lips almost touching fingertips

and the warm breath flowing down the fingers,

the right-angularity of ankle joint and knee,

toes gripping through the soles of the shoe, altar

boy's red and white vestments draping from shoulder

to knee to floor and the single shaft of light angling

down from the tall window, crossing pews in

corrugation, diagonal slash across the muted quiet

of the church, the tension of this instant before

the motion reverses, this moment of obeisance perfected.