El Santuario de Chimayo

El Santuario de Chimayo
I wanted so badly to feel
or at least believe
in that dark sanctuary
made holy with tall candles,
pictures of saints.
I closed my eyes,
squeezed tighter,
knelt on splintered rail,
repeating silent words
like heal and open,
waiting for a miracle
to twinkle through me,
some sort of sign
declaring sanctity.


But the only evidence
lay outside my soul:
pilgrims genuflecting,
dropping to their knees,
even raising their hands,
all appearing
to feel and believe
something I could not.
Even standing over
the well of sacred dirt
watching everyone else
fill plastic bags,
rub bodies with dust,
then finally sifting it
through my own fingers,
no flash of light,
no sparkly feeling.


Only after pushing open
heavy doors,
feeling sunlight
lay hands all over me,
hearing birds praise
the cloudless sky,
smelling sage and pinon,
arrived on a path
which is not right
or wrong,
just different.


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