Our Lady of the Angels Monastery
Rachel Gaffin

Glory for the generous hospitality
of cheese-making nuns,
for song and chant at 11:40 a.m.,
for my barefoot chapel dance––
splash of stain glass light, cool stone,
this one-year-old room built by an Amish architect
with an eye for a clean line and the weight of the cross.

The nuns ask for no explanation
just if I need a folding chair for my outdoor prayers
and if I've seen their golden retriever––old, easily
overheated Amber.

I never find the dog,
just a deer skeleton
decked in blue and gold butterflies
exploring the spine twisted back on itself,
which keens––
    who did this
    and God how did you let this happen
tattered skin
    clinging to the ribs
its broken jaw,
    weapon enough
to defeat Philistines.


Mornings: Bedroom Windows
Rachel Gaffin

Rachel Gaffin is a poet living in Charlottesville, VA, where she graduated from the University of Virginia's Area Program and Poetry Writing in 2017. She has had pieces published in the Virginia Literary Review and Mockingbird. When she's not writing, she likes to play guitar and spend time outdoors.

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