Church for the Disliked
On the turnpike, the smell of a heaven
made out of old barn wood
Handles and rungs
cut from a fat farmer’s leather belt.
In the eastern counties,
coffins raced uphill, moving on hay bales
and billiard balls.
Charon paid for everyone at the I-44 tollbooth.
On the North Canadian,
comforts of a widower’s loneliness
floated on pontoons.
Time balanced on a fish egg.
In the city, violins violated jackhammers.
At the refuge, night is the church for the disliked.
I go to baptize the plants,
horns, and rain.
I have passed through
many different Oklahoma statehoods.
Copyright © 2020 by Sy Hoahwah. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on April 24, 2020 by the Academy of American Poets.
About this Poem
“Thinking I will be going back to Oklahoma to visit family in the near future, but I don't. Something always comes up. The only time I make it out that way is for funerals. There are many layers of Oklahoma to go through to get to these funerals.”
Date Published: 2020-04-24
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/church-disliked