Gem of the Bayou: St. Elizabeth of Hungary, Paincourtville, LA

In late afternoon light
tainted by scenes in stained glass
creating a subtle rainbow
residual incense wafts
as we walk toward the chancel.

An odor of sanctity
captured in cavernous sanctuary
upward-rising to the rafters.

Largest building in dwindling town
stretched along straight roads
between the canebreaks
and the occasional refinery
along bending banks of ever-widening river
the Gem of the Bayou reminds of a reality
transcending the fields and marshes

that stretch between the Gulf and Baton Rouge.