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
Things they don't tell you.Thngs they don’t tell you about losing your grandfather on a Tuesday night:More Like This
When you wake the next morning, you still
need to get out of bed in time for work, you still
have to shower, dress yourself, eat breakfast, brush
your teeth and hair;
and when your mother calls
to check in, you have to comfort her because she lost
her dad last night;
and when you call your grandmother
your voice cannot waver lest you upset her, because
she lost a man she's known for seventy years and even
though she would never hold it against you, you still
feel obligated not to cry;
and when you sit down
to do your job, you will have to do it with all your heart
because if you can