NaPoWriMo DAY TWO 2 April 2020
At The One-time Monastery
She sits on a stone bench
by the guard house, crocheting,
sweet, white-haired grandma Rose
in her pearl-blue, hand-knitted cardigan,
looks up, regales you
with her toothless, all-forgiving smile.
Peacocks sun themselves by the entrance
of the ancient one-time monastery,
perched on the first rung
of wide, slightly concave stone steps,
worn by harsh winters
and in the Middle Ages
the sandaled feet of Carthusian monks
crossing the threshold on their way
to vespres in the church.
Arm-long icicles reach down
from above in winter
drip-melting in the midday sun.
Now, in springtime, swallows dart in and out
of the entrance – they’ve built a nest
in the ornamental forged-iron lamp-holder
suspended from the ceiling.
For the swallows’ sake
the entrance door is left ajar,
they bring luck to the secularized building,
says the owner, a widow called “la chatelaine”.
Hidden away, she lives here on her own,
her bedroom overlooks the graveyard
where tombstones whisper of the monks
laid to rest there: Jean-Baptiste, Xavier, Geronimo.
The chatelaine is not afraid of ghosts.