by Dory Hudspeth
for Charles Swanson
The First Free Will Baptist Church was last
seen flying south like a great migrating goose.
While the white steeple was visible for miles,
some details like the sign above the door
and the two broad steps into the sanctuary
were quickly lost to the observer on the ground.
Once again, Reverend Swanson must have led the
congregation in a real toe-tapping hymn.
The ladies in their frumpy dresses and the men
in their too-tight collars, forgot themselves and swung
the Austin Funeral Home fans in 4/4 time with a bit more
than normal enthusiasm.
Whether by chance or by divine intervention,
the flapping scenes of the Good Shepherd
and Loaves and Fishes on the right
side of the aisle and the ones on the left side
of the aisle commenced to beating opposite
of one another like the wings of a great bird.
Sister Mary was at the piano.
As the news quickly spread, the friends and families
of the dearly departed immediately brought fried chicken
and buttermilk biscuits to the site
in hopes of luring the congregation to land.