in its taupe hallways and dixie cups full of goldfish,
its hands raised up in unison,
its children being called to the front,
its navy blue bibles.
Now, please turn to first peter, chapter and verse.

Everything true and good surfaces and floats,
here and now, there and then.
Buildings and bulletins and exclusion and small thinking
sink to the bottom,
and only the fools try to save them.

But this need that I have
to hope and to trust,
it buoys
like a hard, red oak.
Stained from centuries before
Not even the water can wash it clean now.