Notre Dame

My heart aches

remembering your splendor

your glory.

I hold tight to the sensation

of seeing you for the first time.

Stepping out from the Metro stairs

you grandeur framed by the

pink light

of the rising sun.

 

Walking through your doors

always takes my breath away.

Your graceful arches

the stories that your

stained glass tells

with intricate detail

and vibrant colors.

 

Fond memories of a younger self

gathering with eager, bight-eyed students.

Studying your nave

your famous flying buttresses.

It is the overwhelming sense of hope

that you inspire

that I hold onto today.

 

Just last summer

I entered your doors with

a heavy mind.

I gazed at your stained glass

overcome with a powerful feeling of

comfort and hope.

You wrapped your arms around me

and whispered in my ear:

Surrender

Trust

All is well

All will be well.

 

United in an outpouring of

grief,

your facade graces

Facebook photos

serving as the stunning background

of smiling tourists.

 

The image I hold onto

is one of your interior

after the blaze

of what remains;

your frame

your arches

the bones of your

body.

And on the altar

a cross

surrounded by light

the light of your

Soul.

A reminder of your

eternal

resilience.

 

7 thoughts on “Notre Dame”

  1. I have not been to Notre Dame but your words struck a chord with me and I felt I was standing there next to you looking up at the beauty of this cathedral. So powerful. Thanks for sharing.

  2. This is heartbreaking – your poem and the fire. I was just there last October and it is just so sad! I love the lines “your frame, your arches, the bones of your body….” It turns the building into a symbol of much more.

  3. There’s something about the many tourist photos of Notre Dame popping up on social media. I opted not to post any, But like you, I’ve spent time recalling the stunning structure and those I visited with. The apostrophe form of your poem emphasizes the heartache you feel from the destruction of much of the iconic cathedral.

  4. I couldn’t believe – on such a sunny, glorious day in my part of the world – that this horror was happening. It seemed to me that the world stopped for a moment to pray (a comment on Twitter: “I am an atheist, but I am praying”). I can’t wrap my mind around the pricelessness of what is lost – but your words here, even in mourning, are uplifting and hopeful. I hear that many things have survived. The cathedral’s home page says this: “More than a historical monument … since its origins, it is the living stones, formed by the believers, that give it its true existence.” Reports say that the stone construction has been saved (your image of the “frame,” “the bones of your body”). As you concluded so beautifully, the soul of the church remains, will go on, will overcome. Such a moving, beautiful memorial, Krista, made more so by your personal experiences there.

  5. Lovely tribute to the historic landmark. I have never been there, but can tell how impactful just being there might feel from your words.

  6. I love how this poem captures both your personal connection to Notre Dame and a larger sense of the tragedy and hope in its resilience.

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