I don’t know why I come here.
The pews are hard.
No help for my aching back.
He often doesn’t speak loudly enough,
And I strain to catch the words.
He’s a small man, with a nervous laugh
that grates on my nerves.
I don’t know why I come.
His wife makes me nervous.
With gentle eyes that seem to see through me.
Today, I’ll escape early,
I won’t have to shake his hand.
It’s communion Sunday, again.
And I will not partake.
It’s morbid, anyway.
Drink my blood, eat my flesh…
makes my skin crawl
and they make it sound so…normal.
I really don’t know why I come.
The sermons are neatly organized, I’ll give him that.
But he can spend a half hour on a single verse
and act as if there were still more to wring from it.
It’s getting close.
Standing now, for prayer.
These old bones protest.
And my right foot is asleep again.
I’ll slip away now.
Back out into the sunlight.
Still wondering why I come.
It’s not for me, this religion.
Oh, I know He’s out there somewhere.
But this body and blood nonsense…
Too human, too personal.
Too much like me.
Under the trees, I pause to catch my breath.
It’s a lovely morning, I’ll give Him that.
Perhaps, if he’d heal these old painful joints,
I’d give Him more.
The air is suddenly chilly.
And I turn, as a shiver snakes down my spine.
Glance up to the steeple,
and nearly fall to the sidewalk.
The white church has turned a dark, oozing shade of red.
It’s dripping, running over the grass, staining my shoes.
Blood, like a river.
I close my eyes, and fear mingles with hope.
My heart beats like a heavy drum, loud in my ears.
But when my eyes open, it’s gone.
Just a little white church, washed in dappled sunlight.
Shuffling away, eyes straight ahead.
Shaking, but more alive then I’ve been in years.
I wonder why I came.