The Rock

God 
or someone thought to be God

walked into a Southern town
and came upon a church.  

It was a prairie house
that was painted white 

with a common steeple
and a stained glass window.

It was Sunday morning 
and the church was full.

The congregation were 
singing hymns; the figure 
could hear them from a block away.

Their singing grew louder 
and louder as he approached,

so he brought thunder
and lightning to drown it out.

When he reached the steps
that led to the entrance,

the man stopped and didn’t go in.

     He reached down,

picked up a rock, and fired it
at the stained glass window.

The window shattered and crashed 
to the floor in a hail of colors,

and the singing stopped.

The storm rushed in 
through the open space,

and lightning struck
so close to the church

that everyone thought
the Rapture had come. 

The people jumped 
out of their pews,

hymnals and bibles
slapped on the floor,

and they pushed 
and kicked their way outside

to see what they thought
was the Almighty—

but by the time they 
reached the exit,

the storm and the figure
had disappeared.

     Meanwhile, 

back in the church,
laying among the broken glass 
and trampled pages,

the rock had a note 
tied around it:

This building has termites.
Burn it down. Leave the books 
and burn those too.
The writers were hacks. 

Your "good reverend" 
takes your tithes 
to the brothel 
every Wednesday 
at noon, and I 
couldn't care less.
Neither should you.
  
But those songs.
Those pitifully awful
songs. I swear, if I
hear you singing 
them again...  

 

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