Gail White


Westminster Abbey to the Tourist

Faith has declined since Chaucer’s day.
Few come into the church to pray.
But still we must maintain this shrine
For all of you who stand in line
Hoping to see the kings and queens,
The vaulting and the Gothic screens,
The gods of English poetry,
All absolutely bloody free.

Guess what? We have to clean the glass,
Pay priests to celebrate the mass,
Patch this elaborate facade
And keep it here for you and God.
So march down every marble aisle
Toward Poets’ Corner with a smile,
And pay, before you make your rounds,
Your effing twenty-seven pounds.

Gail White is a contributing editor to Light. Her latest chapbook, Paper Cuts, is reviewed in this issue. She has devoted her life to poetry, and consequently lives in genteel poverty on the banks of Bayou Teche.