Winter 2011 • Vol. XXXIII No. 1 PoetryJanuary 1, 2011 |

Vespers

At six tonight, the church calls out to God, like a girl who sings at chores and doesn't know her voice cascades down hills, through groves, and into homes. It is not Sunday, or even midwinter, when the soul believes itself to be hungriest; the lot beside the church is empty, which doesn't mean the church is— the town is small and close, the air is fine. It is almost empty, though: just a few widows stoop in the pews beneath the dusty slats of late-day sun. The boys who stalk the graves nearby have never been inside to pray. Neither has the new shopkeeper (from India, it's assumed, though maybe not the Christian parts) nor the man who owns the orchard on the Oxford-Lloyd town line. (It's said the fruit grows better in the town with fewer debtors listed in the Herald each April.) The florist only comes for funerals, his tie matching the arrangements; others seek solace elsewhere: ravines, the dive by the truck stop. For some months, a schoolteacher—a C

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Sere World

By Christina Pugh

At six tonight, the church calls out to God, like a girl who sings at chores and doesn't know her voice cascades down hills, through groves, and into homes. It […]

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