You stand in good company
with Addie and Cynthia,
Carol and Carole;
with Thomas á Beckett,
centuries away from Birmingham
and from your own hometown.

You saw death in the house of God
and you yielded, hands open.
Did you forgive him, even in that
moment? The shock of the bullet?
The letting of blood?
I believe you did.

The trip to Heaven
could not have been quicker,
from the sight of Christ’s cross
to the sight of His flesh
in the blink of a moment,
faster yet than bullets leave barrels.

Pray for us, new saints
to the pantheon of those
struck down by evil
in a place of God.
The God of the lowly, those shoved to the margins,
hears you most keenly.

 

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