empty choir stalls – September 19


empty choir stalls with

gothic scrolls

where young boys

in starched white

collars and black

buttoned cassocks

gave their voices

up to God

and found their

ways in the world.


miss bicknell would

keep me in check

barely taller than

my young self

when I toppled

over on her in

the adolescent

hormonal swoon

of a collar too tight

for sprawling spurt



I’m looking over

a four leaf clover,

danny boy, tiptoe

through tulips, our

audition songs

for acceptance and

place. soprano most

alto a few. clear

to be taught all of us.


the organ is quiet now

no vibratos soaring and

supporting. no young

faces turned from

thuggery to



and yet they echo

on and have left

their mark

boys become men

who learned to


and to give

of their gifts.


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