Today's poem is by Stuart Bloodworth

In a Diner on Sunday

These two old Protestants in blue and beige
eat with a vengeance, never say a word
about the sermon, pinto beans, or rain.
If Pentecost's haloed and blazing bird

descended on his plate, he'd clutch a roll,
back stiff as a pew, and slather butter on.
And she would chew, and chew, stare at the wall
beyond his head until the roast was gone.

They've suffered children, capriciousness of wars
and crops, and every Sunday morning sit
listening to the words they've heard before.
But grace and mercy sound just like confit

or remoulade to these two fork scrapers,
potato eaters, posthole diggers hard
as summer dirt. They've outlived trees, neighbors,
with stubborn silence modeled on the Lord's.

Copyright © 2002 Stuart Bloodworth All rights reserved
from The North American Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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