The Yankee Devil Goes to Church
I’m in the deep South during the dog days,
and the Sun has not been up long, but the heat
is already like a weight pressing last night’s whiskey
out of my pores.
I step into the shadow cast by the cross on top of the steeple,
a swath of darkness cut into the searing light.
I’m an outsider here, resented for something Sherman did
more than a hundred years before I was born.
Old politics, old money, old hate, and I wonder why
I ever came to this place.
Then I see her – tall and tan, wearing a summer dress
that whispers of the sensuality beneath.
She takes my hand and leads me to the cruel oak pews,
to the brittle pages filled with beautiful words
I want to believe, but never could,
and never will.