People I know and love
kept saying there was no God.
I didn’t buy it. Could have sworn
I met God once or twice.
I went over to the former God-place.
No one was home. I let myself
in. Looked through scattered papers
for a current address. Admired
some old family photos. There was a lot
of unopened mail piled up under the slot,
though not as much as you might expect.
Nothing offered a clue as to
the present whereabouts of God. I did see
an oak tree failing out back, a garden
of dried-up stems, a pile of brush
by a cold circle of ash. Began to realize
that God must have moved on long ago from
such settled addresses. Maybe God
bought an RV on credit and took up
a nomadic lifestyle, campground
to campground, put faith in
long ribbons of road under holy black wheels
in pursuit of happiness. Maybe no one
had ever offered God happiness. Come to think of it
God was never smiling when I ran across them
on those strange occasions when we met.
There was a grimness to those
moments. I was unsettled. Perhaps
God was as well. I don’t blame God
for putting distance between us,
now that I recollect that appalling neediness.
I cannot imagine how long I’d stand for that.
I left the former house of God and walked
a long way down the road seeking their tracks
until I came to my senses. Let God be happy,
I decided. If I believe anything, I believe
they’ve earned a right to restlessness
in the face of our constant pressure —
and I’ve got a home of my own. So
I turned back.