I mention my pain out loud and
to facilitate my healing, kind folk
point me toward a hymnal for the Natural Congregation
of the Church of the Hairy Woodpecker.
Pick it up, they urge me. Go into the woods
and sing along, or better still, just listen.
I do and it’s certainly a lovely rhythm,
but not meant for me. I’ve tried
and the peace of nature’s not my language,
not in my range; I cannot fake it well enough
for the congregation gathered there
not to know and not to stare.
Instead I’ll sit here and keep the windows open
and think about what it would be like
to be rid of the kind folk, to just leave
the windows open and let the Church
say what it will about the one who won’t come
to the service. He’s got his own
God, or hymnal, they might say. If they’re right,
I’ll sit in waiting for that for the rest of my life;
the windows are open. Let it come, and let it be soon.