The Church Pew
Jerry L. Hurley
The church pew sitting on my front porch
once lived at the Firstborn Church of the Living God
which stood for years a few blocks
from my house in Apalachicola.
A Pentecostal Holiness church so I’ve been told.
I can imagine the dark-skinned worshippers
baking in the summer heat with thin cardboard
fans provided by the funeral home down the street.
Who sat on my bench, who laughed and wept and cried
“Hallelujah , Praise Jesus and Amen?”
Or spoke out loud in unknown tongues,
filled with the spirit of God.
Who stood and sat and stood and sat with feet
that could not be still and restless arms reaching up.
What children, scrubbed clean with pinching shoes
listened to the grownups and rolled their eyes in amazement?
This place of great magic and wide-eyed wonder
opened a door to a different yet familiar place in their world.
Finally the altar call for those unsaved to bathe
in the blood of the lamb.
Hands upon their backs they were rescued
from the fires of hell.
Sure hope they didn’t backslide next Saturday night
but walked the straight and narrow.
If only my pew could speak and tell me of mysteries unknown.