A poem for Mr Shaw “Walking With Jesus” by Barbara Crooker

in the Blue Ridge Mountains, eating corn fritters

and okra, passing the black-eyed peas. He loves

redbirds and kudzu, all that green tenaciousness.

He’s not so much of a fan of men in white sheets,

gun racks, the Stars and Bars, but he’s Jesus, so

he loves them anyway. The gospel of football

eludes him, but he sure likes to tailgate. He tells

me that all the commandments are really

about sitting with your neighbors on a wide

front porch, eating peach pie, watching the sun

go down. Why are you still going on about sin

and salvation, he asks me, when you have all this,

right here, right now?

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