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Luci Shaw

Compline at the Cathedral

Late evening, and the students stroll in,
silent, gangly, some barefoot as Moses at
the burning bush. But in this dim,
deep space the only fire is one candle burning,
and a cross, lit dimly. The young
spread their blankets in the aisles
and around the altar and lie on their backs,
listening up, seeming to be at home
with holiness. I see hands raised for praise,
but some seem simply to doze,
a flock at rest in their pasture.
Oh, to be young again, in cut-offs and cargoes,
looking not at each other but to the unseen
through a canopy of chanted, translucent sound.
Pray that at this evening's completion
they will carry this tranquility with them
into Seattle's dark, unquiet streets.

—Luci Shaw

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