Grace Cathedral, San Francisco

Stained glass windows depict
human feats of science and philosophy
alongside stories of the scripture and
the legends of the saints
and let the light in just the same.

San Franciscans sit silently
remembering what faith felt like
before it was a choice
to be made, before the Scopes Trial
and the Stonewall Riots.

Perhaps I’m projecting,

and for them this is nothing
more than a temporary shelter
from the June wind,
a stopping point on a journey
to a bustling pier.

The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco,

is the quote I recall
seated in the light cast
by Einstein and Descartes
and the son of God, saviour of man,
as the fog rolls in over the bay.

Kim Fulton's writing's appeared in publications in New Zealand and overseas, including Landfall, Poetry New Zealand, Hue and Cry, JAAM, and The Pangolin Review. Kim has a Master's degree in Creative Writing from Massey University.