by Betty Sanders Garner
Ontario, Canada

These empty rooms
quicken at my presence

I conjure them filled:
                a chair, footstool,
table with lamp; knitting bag
casually set down

Facing the fireplace
                a couch; on the seat,
an open prayer book

Frocked faces, in ornate
frames relax their
Rembrandt stance
as a child’s toy whirrs
across the carpet

Flame, bright and sear
leaps in the hearth -
                and somewhere
down the years     a bell tolls
calling sinners and the
good to prayer


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