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Tuesday, November 29, 2005


Sitting in the Choir

The preacher's back is a shifting blue coat
behind a clear plastic podium.
The choir sits behind him. We stand
for his words, to sing, sometimes to pray
on display for those who break rules,
who refuse to bow, who keep eyes open
looking for God around the room
and settling on stained glass Jesus
or the stranger next to them.
He preaches with his hands,
laying on accents and punctuating his gospel
with exclamation points shaped like a pointed finger
and question marks that disappear into his pocket
to jingle keys. I can hardly believe
the words amplified to fill this room
have come from the other side of this man
not looking at me.
And I wonder. Does he feel the weight
of the choir? Are we fierce reminders of James,
Do not presume to teach, brothers?
Or do we strengthen him—a hundred eyes
hurrying his words to the hearts in those pews?

HillCountryWriter Category: Poetry
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