Villagers attending church, by Walter Sanders
Lamar sits in his wheelchair
at the back of the church: Parkinson’s
propped in his lap like a toddler, bad baby
who crawls on this old man’s chest, pulls
his tired white head to the side
and whispers in his ear about lungs
falling in on themselves. Our minister reads
the words of the Psalmist, who assures us
about the place of the righteous and the wicked.
Lamar’s labored breathing lingers, rests
like a shawl on the shoulders of those of us
who sit in the next to last row. We can’t help
but wonder where the breath of God is, and why
a good man is treated so wickedly.