The Sapphire Cross

what was once strong and sturdy
has become rusted and delicate
a missing gem here or there
still the grimy metal shines

in the center of the gold cross
a bead of glass, and text small enough for a mouse
the light shines through, and if you get close enough
the Lord’s prayer will meet your eyes

my great grandmother, with her hands bent and hair white
kept the cross high on a shelf
to where it rests now
in my mother’s china cabinet

when I was a child, I could never see the prayer
the gold would clack against the lens of my glasses
as I come back to the sapphire cross, finally seeing the words within,
I feel its weight, of time and of the life it’s lived

and of the people who have stuck their eyes into the center of the sapphire cross






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