J. M. Pressley
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In the House of God

Old church
Hard-backed oak pew
10:54 a.m.
Strains of music
Swell from
Far back
Within the choir
Room, sweeping into the
To enter the
House of God and sing His
Hymns—I can't sing
These songs
Like I
Could when I was
Young, when all was faith; now
Poetry is
My hymn
My religion
And my gods have strange names:
Byron, Shelley
Auden, Whitman
Their church nothing more than
A book, black ink
White page
No pews
No preachers, choirs
Not even a dress code:
And I think as
I sit
The music grow
Seeing the choir enter
God speaks to me
In poems
Not hymns
Yet here I am
11:10 a.m.
The first hymn plays
I sing
I sing
Because I made a pact
With God: He lets me write
And sometimes I
Sing hymns.

© 1996 by J. M. Pressley

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