I close my book sheepishly, careful
not to harm the black print words
clanging noisely against each other as
the cover descends gently and
my mother scolds with her eyes,
you're too old to be reading books
in the back of the church, nestled
in the corner of the pew.
Poem book inside hymn book,
Billy Collins gospel and Margaret Atwood
by Vonnegut resting next to my bible
amongst all the breathless churchgoers
eyes peeled towards the stand
with a dull shine like copper, glinting
like a penny on the sidewalk
in the sparkling wake of religion
under the down-turned face of God.
And my book
now hidden amongst the folds of my skirt
and pressed against the brick wall which
runs its patterns up the walls, across
the vaulted ceiling and to the great organ
clattering its montone notes just over
our unprotected heads.