Last Sunday in Church
The shunned offering basket gets even lighter
when it passes by you,
the sleight-of-hand unnoticed
as you slipped a coin
into a ragged coat pocket
while simultaneously crossing yourself.
A man of faith. No doubt.
But the bishop’s still searching
under the cushions of his overstuffed sofa
and in the black-out curtains of his cassock
for his dignity
that you pilfered and pawned
to buy a round for everyone at the pub.
They drank to you, called you a saint.
Maybe, but widows clenched their mites
tighter when you sauntered by…
I would’ve had coffee with you afterwards,
fellowshipped, as we say,
but you’d already vanished—
returned to the thin air you came from,
jittery with schemes,
the rope burns still red on your dirty neck.
Don Thompson has been writing about the San Joaquin Valley for over fifty years, including a dozen or so books and chapbooks. For more info and links to publishers, visit his website at www.don-e-thompson.com.