gospel circlesright now i am sitting under a gospel hallMore Like This
and a man above and to the right of me
keeps screaming, “lord, i am too old for hallelujah”
between punctuated bits of off-beat clapping.
there is a drum circle somewhere up there
and djembe are hit to break his pauses.
from somewhere, there is a track
bleating spurts of trumpet like sheep
and scattering notes from the piano like milkweed
lord, you are too old for hallelujah.
that song has been played over and over
for so many tired years,
brought back countless times as a
dulling exclamation point thrown as if to cut
a question mark in half.
its beauty has eroded with age:
a relic chipped away by time.
there are voices singing in an african language above me.
they ebb gently like a river, show their undersides like a leaf
upturned in a breeze.
they may be joyous or frantic -- maybe both, but i can’t ever tell.
“lord, we are too old for hallelujah!”
a choir agrees.
and maybe we are.
because from where i