Church for the Disliked by Sy Hoahwah with Photography by Bruno Chalifour
Reprinted with gracious permission of the author and the photographer. Poem from poets.org. Photograph 061221 dry by Bruno Chalifour.
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.
Photograph from Bruno Chalifour's Visual Diary.
Poem and image, conceived separately, joined by editor Marc A. Cirigliano.
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