19 July 2008

To the Church

You built a tent around me when I was very small
You brought me friends and family
You gave me a house
a listening ear
You taught me strength and internal calm
I was myself and I was loved.

I learned to ask tough questions, pointed questions
Fight those battles by day,
Sink back to the margins by night.

But lately, my little island
is not a shelter from the sharp, scary monsters
It is a looser place,
the dense curtains unravel,
the light slants through and blinds me
(just for a second)

Then my eyes adjust, and I see that
though I am still at home in this place,
outside there be dragons
with faces of friends
who look in at me,
shake their heads,
and mark something down on their clipboards.

I can't hide in the shadows any more.
The potlight swings a wide arc
and settles on my favorite corner.

You pull me to my feet and into the bright
(my teacup smashes down behind me)
As I protest, you -
I still can't make out your face, though you are the same as ever -
you say with one head
"My friend, you are truly called."
As the other heads spring up and begin muttering angrily, harumphing to each other
One nasty face in the back starts to spit -
I dodge it, just barely.
Another thrusts a stack of paper towards me.

And there it is, in black script on white,
an invitation.

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