I was a long pew of lonely men.
The pastor said Kneel and I kneeled.
The pastor said Rise and Now we will sing.
Outside, parachutes tangled in the trees.
Soldiers unhooked their harnesses
and dropped to the ground while the parachutes gasped in the sun
like morning glories. The gunfire said Bang, bang, bang
and the pastor said Kneel and the old men kneeled. I kneeled.
The pastor said Bow your heads.
The parachutes swayed in a wind
and from the woods the sounds of sticks cracking.
A morning glory expands like a man who has jumped from a
Like a parachute.
The pastor lit a candle and another. The pastor
touched his chest here and here. The old men swayed in their
I was a pewful of such men,
eyes rolled back in my head. Weak and
trembly. How lovely the parachutes in the churchyard, their
twisting in the wind like a mission.
How lovely, the bells that rocked on dowels in the tower, the sounds that slept in the
The hammer that swayed like a soldier beneath the bell.
The gunfire said Surprise, said Ache.
The pastor said Be seated!
The pastor cleared his throat as though he had something to say,
holding his book before him.
In the churchyard a young man knelt by a tree.
Someone put a rifle in his mouth
and the pastor said Amen.
The bell crashed through the tower.