Pine Mountain Cemetery XIV
The Reverend Mr. White

It being Sunday and all of us blocked
Out of our paid for and beloved pews,
My mind drifts back to The Rev. Mr. White.

Such a list of firsts, he employed me
To care for the nursery, not much more
Than a child myself. Adults back then

Gave you twelve years and then expected
You to behave as if you had some sense.
Second, he baptized me, washed me clean of

Whatever sins I had accumulated by then,
Too bad his cleansing isn’t more frequent,
Since my sins grow in number and consequence.

Third, he promoted me to church secretary. A
Grown-up job, smart enough to brag to others.
Type, file, run errands, answer phone. Perching

There in high cotton I was. Still just fifteen with
Enough money to buy precious penny loafers.
Never again would I have to wear lace-up oxfords.

Fourth, he urged me to go to Church Camp, if
There ever was a paradise on earth, that is where
You would find it. A perfect time, tears sprout in reverie.

Fifth, he sent me packing to investigate Transy,
Changed my life, grew me up, gave me a picture
Of a world I could grab and own for myself.

Sixth, he married me, on a hot day in August,
Handed my groom a handkerchief during prayer,
Getting married is hot work, he blessed it.

Saints are named at other hierarchical posts,
But resting over there, in case they miss one
Is the closest thing to a saint you might ever know.