Laura Reece Hogan
A Small Good Friday Service at Notre Dame Cathedral

                                                                            Paris, 2020

The blackened wound still festers, open to the Parisian sky,
barbs of melted steel beams left to untangle, all progress

stopped by pandemic. The irreplaceable roof and spire
lost; yet priceless treasure survived—the crown

of thorns, long-suffering. The nave billows toxic lead
from the incinerated roof. The structure teeters

on failure, construction helmets required.
Priests process in masks, liturgical actors read in plastic

suits, rubber boots, cameramen capture the scene
in hazard gear. Only a few of us can be there, a few

of us playing all of us, all of us who wear hard hats
in adoration of a crown of thorns.