A Magnolia Seed

A magnolia seed falls
upon the aluminum slide
of a child’s swing set.

Darkness instantly swallows
the sound of this 900-year-old
church bell,
or, perhaps, an impeccably embossed shield deflecting crossbow bolts
from a crusading religion.

In the absence of faith,
the walls of Christian churches were originally supported
by crossbows.

See, if you stack the crossbows high enough,
you can eventually blot out the sun,
the moon, and black rainbows
on the wings of crows.

This is how our Christian faith
was born and cultivated in chilly darkness.

Just now a second magnolia seed
falls like an invisible bolt exploding
against the impeccably embossed shield of my poem.

In August 2015 Alan Britt was invited by the Ecuadorian House of Culture Benjamín Carrión in Quito, Ecuador as part of the first cultural exchange of poets between Ecuador and the United States. His interview at The Library of Congress for The Poet and the Poem aired on Pacifica Radio, January 2013. He has published 15 books of poetry, including his latest, Violin Smoke, translated into Hungarian by Paul Sohar and published by Iradalmi Jelen Könyvek publishers. Read other articles by Alan.