came early with
June, each tent a hot
angel of healing, the Spirit
catching in women’s throats
and anointing the lazy eye
of an uncle.  You wanted
nothing more than for that
peacherman from way
out west to lay golden
hands upon you, making
your pain that thing
he spoke of

until you became
a testimony circling
the tent on your own. Lord
how you prayed that week
your knees turning into
the hard-backed pews of early
service, each with a brassy
name in its side; how you
went back each

and every night
filling the aisles with
bodies better left
behind.  Back then sin
was a coin rubbed
faceless in the pocket
an offering given
gladly, that clear silver
sound everyone
listened for.

  • Kevin Young