“floorboards creak out a secret or two” – Ivy

ivy-web

 

Chapel

worms drill, silent in the wood
floorboards creak out a secret or two

this bench needs another polish
a neighbour exchanges a pointed word
to the woman next to her
who smoothes her old wool skirt and nods

at the couple glimpsed in the lower floor—
the wife goes through the little door
her husband holds open for her
her new hat trembles as she sits
he slips the latch closed behind them

when the priest speaks, the shuffles hush
everyone’s here for the word of God
he rests his Bible on a cushion
it’s still all true, last year’s sermon

out the windows, houses climb the hill
rooves of soot, limned with sunset

Ivy Alvarez is the author of Mortal (Red Morning Press, 2006), her first book of poems. While finishing her second book, she wrote poems at St Fagans National History Museum, which will be included in her third book (thanks to a bursary from Academi). She arrived in Cardiff in 2004 and, after jumping the appropriate hoops, swore allegiance to the Queen a second time and became a British citizen in 2010. She lives in Canton.

Ivy was photographed at St Fagans by Robert Bell

 

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