Fall

This month’s calendar is full of once important lyrics,
Most I never even learned
To gospels she’s grateful to outgrow,
That dragged her limp body through winter, and
Will drag her through it again,
Past my empty choir seat
And on to better arrangements.

She gave me a chance to sing once.
She told me it was beautiful.
And out of truth or care,
She meant it,
And that’s what I could have loved the most.

This month is full of missing Sundays,
And my reference guides, and maps from the iron pew rack
Leaving only quiet to slip through that ornate façade.
And the hundreds since I last sang
Turn noses away from me.

I printed deprecating words
Now a swaying ash fallout above the hearth
And I’m as thankful as she is I won’t have to recount
Tag-a-long corteges.
Hardening and conforming platelets.
A body on asphalt.

I wonder if she saw my Honda
And wished I’d hit the new rail by her house I should never pass,
Showing out my big girl identity on that scabby street
Like my dad once did in his new Porsche.
I wonder if she’d wished in my haughty scripted fit
That I’d burn out hard,
Before I burn up.

Play on repeat, and
Watch me matter less – behind
A perfect new gospel
Drowning out
My terrible wreck.

I am a terrible wreck
An unapologetic
And unemployed singer;
Haunting hymn.

And still I get by
Uninvited
From time to time.