Steeplejack (a prayer)

This is a very silly poem, inspired (believe it or not) by re-reading The Agony and The Ecstasy. Picturing Michelangelo up on his scaffolding in the Sistine Chapel, I got to wondering, what do the rest of us look like from “up there”? A steeplejack is a person who repairs and maintains church steeples and belfries and the like, a very old and honorable profession.

To preserve history,
we preserve your trade
little changed but for the gadgets
used to fix you like a star
on high.

(Hosanna in the Highest.)

So there you are,
scaling the spire
suspended in your cradle,
your bosun's chair;
man on a wire
nearer to God,
high above our lowered heads.

(Hosanna in the Highest.)

How can one lowly contractor be
so unworldly? Nearly celestial?
But that's just it; you're still up there,
spectral with plaster dust,
while we congregate below
to offer up our pleas and thanks.

(Please oh Lord, and
Thanks Be to God)

You're not Him
(you know, the man upstairs?)
but you rise above us all
into the painted firmament –
or at least into the rafters.
You patch up cracks and perhaps faith,
while shoring up the steeple.
What do you make of us,
slow, sonorous people, down below?

Do our susurrations scale so high?

(Hosanna in the Highest.)
Amen.)

- (c) 2014 Rosetti C.
 Translunary Things
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