May 21, 2011

Pang (a poem about preaching)


What can sustain us through the Winter?
Cans of green beans, I guess,
creak-creak opened by
weary pastors with their
key-to-scripture can openers, limp
calories forked onto our plates by
servers like ourselves who’ve
long since forgotten there’s
any such thing
as local produce—
any such thing
as tureens of slow-cooked winter stew
mindfully prepared;
fresh-baked bread, warm, broken,
and passed among friends;
sanctified wine poured from the lip
of a dark green bottle;
an expectant hush
as one among us rises to deliver
a well-crafted toast:

a story of Spring
to make our mouths water in anticipation
of still-warm backyard tomatoes
that we will burst open with our teeth
just seconds
after we pick them.