In our chapel at Golden Pines,
Amber light through stained glass,
Across the burgundy cushions,
Greying heads, hip and knee replacements,
A new organ fills the room:
Bach, Widor’s toccata,
Three manuals, hundreds of stops.
Digital, no pipes, which means to some
It is not real. Oh, but is it—
The swells, crescendos,
The noble trumpet of the Prince of Denmark’s March.
It replaces the kind of organ
You used to hear in cafeterias,
Playing for the Civitans.
Our friend explains, improvises for us;
How many would be so bold
As to put on display the skills
Of a life’s work, now
Compromised by time.
It is marvellous, we think, in every way.
At last we have at Golden Pines
An instrument fit for a sanctuary,
For a service of last rites.
Robert Demaree is the author of four book-length collections of poems, including Other Ladders, published in 2017 by Beech River Books. His poems have received first place in competitions sponsored by the Poetry Society of New Hampshire and the Burlington Writers Club. He is a retired school administrator with ties to North Carolina, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire. Bob’s poems have appeared in over 150 periodicals including Cold Mountain Review and Louisville Review.