Collection Bowl

All this time my American Dream has just been American Quiet:
wandering a church during its midday siesta, its walls humming in its sleep
through its air conditioning and dusky fluorescents, its baptismal pool
looming distant in the chapel dark, gem shards of stained light
pulsing muted on the pews, breathing amidst the churn of running water
and small animals nuzzling. Little gargoyle fountains guard the baptismal pool
as four generations of wild cats lick its surface and each other clean and small
dogs and raccoons curl around our approaching feet and we lose track
of whose thoughts are ours and whose thoughts are our thoughts
of what the animals could be thinking. We lie down on a pew,
fur gathers around us. And even with all the animals being animals,
somehow, everything is clean. Our nation is keeping small places alive.

John Darr writes and teaches in Kansas. Kansas! You can find his work at

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