Chagall's Window, Strasbourg

The war blew out your stained glass windows
and tore the infant from your arms. Now the dove’s

 

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wide wings beat again above your heart. Reds
brighten the background of your dark blue dress.

Yellow and green trees dance. Palm leaves
breathe by your side. Chagall has given you

an ordinary chair to be your throne. On this,
the eve of the Assumption, the last rays of sunlight

flood the vestibule as Peruvian flute music
mixes with bells echoing across the city.

A blind woman in a simple flowered dress grips
the pew. “Yahweh,” she sings, “you know me

when I lie down, and when I stand.” She whispers
the words that will change bread and wine

into Christ’s body and blood. Slowly
she makes her way toward the sanctuary,

touching the raised edge of each pew. Her face
is radiant as she turns to leave, singing

the final hymn, reminding me of the way
I used to be for the God who would be mine.

Carolyn Grassi 

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