Painting the Eliot Church

Catherine Stearns
| poetry


South Natick, Massachusetts


Before they could scrape, prime, caulk,
patch the divots and deep cracks
and repair the ubiquitous rot, three men

in t-shirts and torn jeans
covered with sheets of plastic
the 1829 Holbrook bell and Adam's old Civic.

They sprayed everything white
except the gilt
weather vane and finials

that look like pineapples
these having been restored by the spirit
of Sprint and at no cost

to the church (as per wireless covenant),
for they'd found carpenter ants
in the cell phone antennae

under the dome. And you won't see any
of those thick black cables; they've been fixed
deep under the Indian burial ground.



Catherine Stearns’s work has been anthologized in collections of American and British poetry and writing by American women abroad. Her poetry has appeared in many journals

from The Way to Jade Mountain