[Poem#11] "Some Keep the Sabbath by Going to Church"

(rough rough rough draft. i’m too worn out to edit right now)

A bright Sunday morning after a dark week
I sat in my clunker’s driver’s seat, alone
at the wheel. It was time for church – I mustn’t
be late – as I passed the minivans of little girls
in pink bows and teenagers in jeans. I looked for church
but could not find it. The building was there,
and the right people were milling outside and in, but
it didn’t feel right. So I drove past, hearing the strains
of a worship team warming up. And I drove past another
building, parking lot filled with SUVs and hybrids, all
praising the Lord next to each other. And it was not right.

I found my autopilot taking me to a wooded park
in the center of town. I sat beneath a hundred year old tree,
strong and tall, seeing its branches reach up and form a spire.
The grass was the pew, soft and green, neverending and communal.
Wildflowers surrounded me, the lone earth decorations
meant to glorify God. A squirrel approached and started to squeal
at the sight of me. A preacher, he warned me to turn from that tree
I was under for the sake of my soul. I obliged, he the learned being
among us. But that was the only sin of mine he knew, and he pardoned
me easily, his storage of food safe.

And I sat and I waited for the Lord to come down and speak to me,
only to discover he already had.

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