Sunday, July 10, 2022

Then You Go Home to Eat Pot Roast

The way church works is like this.
The whole family wrestles
Itself together, dresses

Everyone in better clothes,
From the family’s viewpoint,
Than are worn on other days,

Piles everyone in the car
After breakfast, complaining
Maybe but no exceptions,

To drive the few miles to church,
A whitewashed cinder-block cube
With a bare steeple for show

In a bedroom neighborhood,
Large parking lot behind it,
And everyone troops inside,

Chattering to whoever
Happens to be there that day—
Mostly the same boring folks

Seen almost all but only
Sundays—and the kids vanish
Into side rooms for an hour

Of Sunday School, the adults
Doing some Bible Study.
After that, more people show

In time for the main event,
The Sunday service, singing,
Praying, and lots of preaching

From the pulpit to the rows
Of folding chairs where kids squirm,
And the nurse who works nights snores,

And the old women rummage
In their purses for tissues.
If you’re lucky, the sermon

Won’t run past noon, and you’ll get
A caramel from someone
Who keeps candies in her purse.

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