Little old man, little old church…

The Little Old Man and the Little Old Church

There’s a little old church across the road that divides
the world – red brick, black roof, steepleless, with
every charm that makes people say, ‘look at that
little old church,’ and today there’s a little old man
mowing the lawn, slowly and carefully as if he’s tending
Eden; he’s dressed for the occasion if the
year was one of those just after World War II,
in his long sleeved shirt and a thin tie – cinched
to the collar which hangs loosely looking like it
would have fit perfectly back before his flesh started
going the way of all flesh, but now he’s the one
who has been planning his whole week around
this job and I’m sure I can hear him saying to himself
he’s doing this because people depend upon him
and if he doesn’t no one will, and you do some
things just because they are the right thing to do,
and no, he can’t visit the grandkids today because
you know perfectly well that he has to mow the
lawn at church and that phrase ‘at church’ has
all the moral importance of a decree or encyclical
issued by a synod or council long ago when
such things mattered – when such pronouncements
settled all disputes, because it looks like he’s still
living in that world or wishes he were, and there are times
that I’d like to live in that world too, but not today.

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