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Temple Church

by Ruth Holzer


Flat on their backs,

long legs at ease,

duties discharged

on far fields of honor,

the Templars are resting.

Eternally armored,

right hands on sword hilts,

left shoulders shielded,

round helmets guarding

brows empty of thought.

Farewell the Holy Land,

advance of the cross,

the wayside ambuscade.


Right hand on hipbone,

left flank in shadow,

stone lamb for pillow,

smooth granite coverlet,

ardent to be there,

the ravaging done.

Asleep is Geoffrey, late Earl of Essex,

sleeping, sleeping, the Pembroke Marshals.