Gritty Details

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Tonight's Poet Corner: Let Us Go Forth

Let Us Go Forth
by Belinda Roddie

The service ended as the sun
bathed its fragile body in a tub
of grass and scrubbed its back
with a dead tree. The bells clanged

like a giant's chattering teeth in
the cold, and all the churchgoers
bustled out in their black coats
and their blue shoes, their black
scarves bunched against their
blue noses and chins. The Catholics

and the Orthodox Jews sat on
different sides of a picnic table
that was rusting around its ankles
in the park next to the old brick chapel,
red breath held between white lips
so as to not kiss the forehead
of a stubborn and reluctant God.
No one bothered these two groups;
while they were different, they were

good company at parties, which were
kept hush-hush at the crab feeds
and congregational picnics, where ham
was served on white bread, and the children
drew pictures of men in broad hats,
wearing curly beards.

As the swarm subsided, the pastor
drank the rest of the communal wine
and frowned as a stain formed
in a pentagram on the front
of his cassock. Not even holy water
could remove the shape from the deep
divot in his chest - he had to leave
the garments to smolder and gray

under the light of the cross, stripped
of the burden of Christ's bronzed flesh,
his brow drooping under beautifully chiseled
stone thorns. His eyes without pupils. His
gaze boring endlessly into marble and glass.

No comments:

Post a Comment