The congregation’s all ancestral, curly, blue—
I take a garden seat among.
But I am a friend
of that young one—she is forty,
widow, her mind not
in their hands,
hushed there, folded there,
her hands working the victory garden
between rocks and sand—
the cutting and kind foundations.
unmarried men and women single-file in,
grouped by their oneness, worshipping as one.
The sermon’s on sex.
It is for it. In the crib of marriage.
My friend already posed
her question, on her feet
at end of Bible class:
“But where can one find joy?” And now
she’s soundless with the echo
of an answer when we jolt
to see the church’s first woman
elder serve the silver
pots and pans of communion
those centuries of washing
empty ones with our aunts and grandmothers
in the kitchen behind the altar.