Sign of Peace

I stand paralyzed when she enters my sanctuary

   seemingly without fear.

     My heart skips a beat

         when she enters my sphere.

At Eucharist she gives me the sign of peace, a gentle hug;

   but my heart is not at peace at all.

     It races, leaving me speechless, powerless.

         I can’t even say “…and also with you”.

Blue eyes penetrate and lock with mine.

   Is it really possible for someone to be so sure of herself,

     offering love in a look?

         Usually it happens just in a storybook.


She stands tall and slender with shapely legs in black stockings;

   she turns a quick pirouette, having sensed my longing.

     Briefly cocks her head my way, skips a step

         and then like Mopsy skips away.

Her regal bearing turns to playful invitation.

   With abandon I let myself be drawn to her

     and for a moment

         I let her be the centre of my universe.


Nothing more to say:

   breathe with her deep breaths

     pungent aromas, lush red roses

         garden wreaths


All at once fear clouds my vision.

   What lurks in that look?

     Does it have

         a hook?


My thoughts have soared far beyond the sign of peace.


Then I unlock the look we’ve shared;

   my gaze drops,

     declining the dare.


Someday I’ll learn to give more,

   want less, and be less paralytic.

     Someday I’ll lift my eyes and say

         “…and also with you”.

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