That Was a Lovely Sermon, Pastor

That Was a Lovely Sermon, Pastor

I’ve never minded the mowing of lawns on Sunday
afternoons in a well worn pair of pants,
line after line – this week vertical and the next opposite –
a summer checkered board of wandering
thoughts going in circles and yellow dandelion
smudges on boots, beer in hand to admire the green

lawn like the altar of Ordinary Time bathed in swaths of green
felt banners at the baptismal font this Sunday
as the pastor read the story of Daniel in the lion’s
den and I dozed off dreaming of their hungry pants
and dripping teeth waiting to tear into the boy’s lack of wandering
curiosity and fleshy figure at the opposite

end of the cave. I have a sideways, opposite,
uneasy sort of feeling when my wife elbows me and my green
eyes search the sanctuary, wandering
from face to face to face of faithful Sunday
people in their dresses, jackets, pressed pants,
toothy smiles and my laces yellowed by dandelions.

I’ve always thought that dandelions
were the loveliest of weeds like the opposite
of those nasty sticker weeds that pierce my pants
when I sit in the green
lawn to enjoy the afternoon sun. Days
like this were meant so your mind could wander

to whatever your mind will wander
to as you twist off the heads of dandelions
and try and remember what the pastor said Sunday
but only ever able to remember the opposite
of whatever he said, scratching at the green
stains on your pants.

“As the deer panteth
for the water” I sing as I wander
forward to the altar arrayed in greenery –
tulips, daisies, a thorny crown, but no dandelions –
I take the bread and juice and walk back to the opposite
end of the room where I sit every Sunday.

And pants worn well with life and my dandelion
soles wander in horizontal patterns opposite
of the green tracks from last Sunday.


Pine Trees and Dandelions in the Garden of Saint-Paul Hospital. April-May 1890. Vincent van Gogh.


That Was a Lovely Sermon, Pastor