The parish church in our neighborhood,
three generations of family worship,
in a brown brick abode. A grade school
occupied the first floor, through the doors
to a Catholic education. I knew the building
top to bottom. An altar boy with a run of
the sacristy. A student who had as much
of the classroom as he did the basement
"gymnasium". The backstage, the ancient
boiler room were all our sanctuary.
A fund-raising paper drive saw her sad
demise. In the wee hours, the furnace
broke the silence of night; an explosion.
Tinder set ablaze in a rapid conflagration.
The stage went first,the upper classrooms
followed. Devoured hungrily was the church
above. Sunday mass, Christenings and weddings,
funerals and communion became fond memories.
With morning's first light bearing witness, the
walls came crashing down. Mere feet away,
a long trailer full of discarded newsprint, unscathed.
St. Michael's came falling to earth.