Gargoyles

When their hearts and bodies
ached, they imagined beings
able to transcend toil
only love made tolerable;
and the hurt, embryonic wings

reluctantly unfolding from
sore shoulders like burgeoning
horse chestnut leaves.
More cloister bat than angel
these mute creatures

summoned in desperation
can’t offer hope or salvation;
but they’ll sit with you all day
though you refuse their comfort –
until you’re less lonely than them.

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An earlier version first published in Ink, Sweat & Tears, August 2017 – with thanks to Editor Helen Ivory. Also in my debut chapbook, Wish (Maytree Press).