At Coventry Cathedral

coventry-cathedral

The firmament behind the ruin hung in its mourning shroud.
Old Adolf hadn’t left much more than charcoaled bones.
The fractured windows rose like starched lace caked in grime and soot
Between the mounds of twisted, blackened ancient stones.
And next door its replacement had been conjured from the ashes.
It was corporate. An ugly, modern stain;
All harsh angles and thick lines that seemed so foreign in this light,
As though the architects had gone to lengthy pains
To imbue it with the ‘Wrath of God’ and ‘Vileness of War’
Without humanity to counterpoint the fear.
But we were young and though the atmosphere would leave a nasty stain,
We kids were full of salmon paste and ginger beer,
And the girls had found the devil at the entrance and were now
All gathered round it, taking photos without shame,
Grinning wildly with each snapshot, making sure its massive knob
Was always well and truly centred in the frame.

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