The White Church on White Church Road by Josh Joseph
There’s a church nearby. Modest in size. Too small to hold any sort of substantial flock. Here, everyone is greeted by a handshake and a name. Their kids are asked after. Out back a small cemetery rents time in eternity. The tenants sleep through the comings and goings of deer and foresight-gifted squirrels. Only mild renovations since its colonial emergence. The structure is a country kind of quaint. And while I am not a man of God; this church calls to me for some reason. At night they leave the side door unlocked. Trusting their neighbors like the good book tells them. And on occasion, in the late hours of unrelenting nights such as this, I’ll go inside and sit in the pews. Confront the edges of myself. I attempt to know God. What His hand feels like. The webbing between His fingers as I interlock my own. I attempt to know the grace of feeling this hand. Without having ever felt anything before. And I do. I do feel it. It doesn’t have a name though. It is only the glimmer of other people’s faith flickering off the stained glass. A devotion I’ll never be a part of. But I drink it in anyway. I allow myself to feel saved. Yet the walls don’t cry for me like I thought they might. When it’s time to go, I run my hand along the lacquered hardwood of the benches. Skirting over the books that hold the words and the songs. It does feel safe. I can see that it feels safe. Especially when I never have.
Josh Joseph is a poet and writer with a B.S. in Nutrition. His poems have appeared in Barren Magazine, Into the Void, and elsewhere. He lives in Pennsylvania where he attempts to find a balance between the arts and sciences.
Photo by Josh Applegate