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Bex Hainsworth: a poem

Nocturne for a Closed Spiritualist Church

After Jane Burn

I pass by every day on my journey home.

Its curved bricks are squeezed between

a department store and an office block.

Unobtrusive, appropriately liminal,

a church entering its own afterlife.

The windows are boarded up

like bruised lids, the doors are bolted

with paradoxical finality. A gaudy logo

from the business that moved in later

hangs above the archway.

I'm not sure why the venture failed,

whether they felt unwelcome, heard

footsteps and creaks at closing time.

There is still a chalk board on one wall

which lists the week's services: half-

scrubbed letters float in the winter twilight.

Mediumship was every Sunday, 4pm.

It's all very foreign for a Methodist agnostic,

and I linger, between belief, consider

what might happen if I knocked.

Leaves rattle against the step. I wonder where

the congregation has gone, what they took

with them, what they left behind.

Bex Hainsworth is a poet and teacher based in Leicester, UK. She won the Collection HQ Prize as part of the East Riding Festival of Words and her work has appeared in Atrium, Prole, Ink Sweat & Tears, Honest Ulsterman, and bath magg. Walrussey, her debut pamphlet of ecopoetry, is published by Black Cat Poetry Press. You can find her here: @PoetBex.


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