Derek Walkush

Veil of Naiveté by Academy Monthly

Face downcast, hands clamped, eyes grieving;

Sitting, back straight on the stiff, wooden pew;

I gazed at the marble box of ashes on the altar

Pondering how my grandfather could be in there.


I stared at the white, ornate cross dangling above the box,

Hoping for my grandfather’s salvation;

I closed my eyes and prayed, with everyone else

And the image of him nestled in heaven eased my woe.


As I grow older, reason and skepticism seep into my mind

While innocence and faith are sieved from my blood;

I’m aware his ashes are now nothing but lifeless specs of dirt 

In the cold ground; but my family suspects he lives on, 

And the fallacy ameliorates their grief 

But steels their veil of naiveté – as it once did for me.