The morning congregation sits in silence
for scripture. My father stands, leans
on a pillar. Mother has given me the task
of elbows. I hand them out diligently
whenever sleep arrives. He never complains
about the bruises. My sister chimes they match
the port wine stain God spilt on his arm.
It may be the guilt but we silently agree
our father is the best at church. During homily
an elderly man collapses in the back pew.
My father, medical instincts tingling, gallops
to the rescue, rides away with man in the
ambulance to the hospital. I remember the
piercing wail of the man’s wife. The altar boy
letting go of the wine. The rest of us glued
watching this live episode of ER. The priest
not once breaking from speech.
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