His Last Easter

The new church is still only a shiny, steel
skeleton standing beside the revival-meeting
tent for the throngs of Easter faithful,
gathering to celebrate the resurrection.

I am greeted affectionately by friendly
strangers presuming I, too, have come to worship.
But no; I come to deliver my faithful brother in
his wheelchair to the rousing songs and prayers.

There is a sweetness here. I am told
three times that I am welcome, that there is
always room for another. My brother smiles
up to me, joining in their welcoming.

Hoisted out of his bed for the first
time in a week, I feel he will be cradled
in them. He had insisted. Being here
gives him a sense of coming home.

I left the time-honored ritual to go down
the road to make my morning, secular coffee,
warmed by the effort to get him here, awash in
the memories of my son on his sailing ship in Mexico.

How fitting that we gather here today at the
last place he came to worship. The mechanics
of his mortality are done; we who care are shifting back to
our individual lives, hoping our imperfections might also be forgiven.