O'Brien County's Bell-Times-Courier -

American Life In Poetry


March 14, 2019

One of the many challenges in life is in knowing where you’re supposed to sit. I slid into the wrong pew at a funeral forty years ago and still smart from the hard looks I got. Here’s a church pew poem by Bruce Pemberton, who lives in Palouse, Washington. It’s from the literary journal Third Wednesday.

Autumn 2017

There’s coffee and pie

with a widow from the church.

Why do you sit

in the back pew? she asks.

I’m close enough, I say.

Can I sit back there with you?

I’ve always sat there, I tell her,

with my same two friends,

and their clicking oxygen pumps.

One sat next to me for...

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