D.S. Maolalai

A Sacrament

The Hours by Xavier Mellery

the oak trees raise petals
as columns of candles
in june and in any
cathedral. a clash of clean white
over afternoon foliage
reflecting new sunlight
like emerald chandeliers. a wax
which flows downward
and drips over grass, blown
hot and by summer-bright
breezes. and in the phoenix park
people are sitting cross-
legged, in circles all six feet apart,
and everyone opening
winebottles and tall cans
of rockshore and tuborg lager.
the first of the well-lit weekends
each summer is surely
a sacrament. girls dressing lightly
and bare-armed as rabbits in flowing
blue dresses. men in cotton t-shirts, pink
as uncooked sides of ham. we follow
the order in the same way
as catholics, in the same
way as birds driven
north. as sap rises summer,
so too does the blood,
as do oaktrees know when
to grow flowers.


About the writer:
D.S. Maolalai has been nominated nine times for Best of the Net and five times for the Pushcart Prize. His poetry has been released in two collections, Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden (Encircle Press, 2016) and Sad Havoc Among the Birds (Turas Press, 2019)

Image: The Hours by Xavier Mellery (1845-1921). No medium specified. No size specified. Before 1922. Public domain.