But what’s a pastor to do when [she’s] got no people to pastor?*
I slipped an extra egg
under the broody hen
and marked the eggs
already gathered there
with a permanent marker’s
The hen settled down,
welcoming new eggs and old.
She puffed wide, her feather-bare
chest, radiating one hundred
and one degrees.
I picked five cucumbers
and weeded around the late-started
zinnias. I asked after zucchini
and green beans, peering between
large green leaves, but the answer was,
I hung wet clothes on the line,
washed and dried over thirty-five
t-shirts. I went to the store for milk.
I cooked a chicken and helped
my son bake a two-layer chocolate
This is what I did
when I had no people to
*This question, posed by a pastor in Winn Collier’s novel, “Love Big, Be Well: Letters to a Small-Town Church,” got caught in my soul and sits there still. It’s a good question, because asking (and answering it) well raises all sorts of other questions. Sometimes a good question can shed more light than even the best of answers.