in a long time to hear the new pastor,
a vivacious red head, wicked-smart yet humble,
who talks about personally getting to know Jesus.
My stomach drops as I try to imagine
a friendship with the universe: so much distance.
I try to sing the hymns, always the best part of a service,
but begin to choke up from the memories.
I do not take the hand of the lady
next to me when the congregation lifts hands in praise.
I probably offend her, and that I do regret.
I realize I’m gonna die and there’s nothing for it,
a sometimes lonely thought, but as close
to the truth as my father’s ashes which
Mom keeps in the bowling ball bag
in her hall closet.