St. Philip's Church in Antigua

For John Cowles

I THINK these empty pews are not deserted
Even though the ocean wind
Sings to itself as though they were,
And the blinds rattle. Here in the West Indies
Women, when they learn lhat lonely music.
Learn to hide their heart-beats from each other.
There might be kneeling women in these pews
Although the wandering wind touched nothing.
I think dead English women come here.
This church was all they had of England —
This and the hymn-tunes and the prayers:
They never called the island home.
But here, however the wood blinds might swing
Or the wind cry, all the house was theirs.