Monday, 22 November 2010

Cheerful Giver

You actually saw his face
Homely and radiant and Christian-like
As his lips belted out a hymn
But chose to ignore the charade
As he fondled the hundred-shilling note
Glazing gleefully, steps calculated down the aisle
Long after the congregation was through with offertory
The cheerful giver must be the last
And the act of charity must not be fast
You fidgeted and cocked your head
And looked at the lectern
As if you expected the Virgin Mary symbol
To become flesh and weep
But you hoped and waited and burned
The smile on his face was as wide as ever now
He took one final sweep at the faithful
You heard his deep resonating voice right
The note reluctantly parted ways
Between giver’s pocket and offertory basket
You heard a subdued click and a sigh
As if of one acquitted
You saw the stunned looks
That told volumes of the wool-thick air
Your Christian self, nonetheless
Agonized and threw up in naked fury
Whether you deemed it holy to
Remain unmoved, only the Good Lord can tell

C) Lorot Salem 2010


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