Churches are reopening...

(transl. by Tanya J. Wolfson)

As if in a guilty spree churches are reopening,
Bells are tolling once again almost round the clock.
But as for signs of grace divine, nothing much is happening,
Nevermind the hopeful priests and the earnest flock.

What we have from olden times is an instruction manual:
Blackened icons, aging oil, words against the sin.
But the Lord Himself resides in some land more genial,
After nineteen seventeen He had not dropped in.

The clink of bottles in my bag is comforting and musical.
There's my stairwell and my door and - this cannot be  -
Someone robed in flowing black, looking faintly quizzical...
So I ask him to come in, and he follows me.

A true vision or a hoax?  A good or evil augury?
Do I turn and knock on wood?  Do I scream and run?
I uncork the wine I brought, fill two glasses eagerly.
There's so much I need to ask, if I find my tongue.

I've not told a lie in years, gave them up entirely,
Though the silent lie remains a far worse complaint.
Would Your Loneliness oblige by answering me squarely:
How can I protect my faith, and what is the point?

And another question too - what about eternity?
Why are routes to afterlife open day and night?
But the final stop is not candlelit serenity -
Margaritas do not plead for their loved ones' fate.

Won't you share your views on these topics I find troubling?
But my silent guest sipped wine with a jaded look,
Watched a talkshow on the tube - politicians squabbling -
And flew out the window while frowning at the clock.

The night that hid him grins at me - secretive yet riveting.
Holes of stars on a black cloth - quite a threadbare dress.
He has things to do without my angst on top of everything.
Or perhaps my visitor lost his strength, like us.
Or perhaps my visitor lost his craft, like us.
Or perhaps my visitor lost his faith, like us.