There ain’t much more to be said when you land in church on Sunday morning,
reeking of wine…you know…that kind that comes in a box.
Pastor Charles has done about had his fill of me, I could see that.
BUT…if y’all believe what the good book tells ya, this here is where I’m gonna get some saving!
I can feel their eyes on me. I know what they’re thinking.
They’d ignore most folks coming in late to the sermon, but not JD Black.
They say the fruit don’t fall far from the tree, and I guess in my case
I’ve been fighting the bad name of my Daddy since birth.
Pastor Charles flips through the dainty little pages of his good book, ignoring me
Best he can, anyway.
Up in the clink I was told I would always be welcome in the House of the Lord,
But they never said nothin’ bout the house of Pastor Charles.
I take off my cap and throw it on the bench beside me
all the while ignoring the daggers Dottie White is throwing at me with her do-gooder eyes.
The way I see it, if you’s really a do-gooder
You needn’t be taking up space in a holy house. That space should be for folks like me!
They’ve all heard the story a thousand times over, but there ain’t been one time
when one of these holy rollers stepped to my face to ask me about the truth!
They’re rising to sing, and I rise right along with ’em, ready to shout it to the world.
Old bird Dottie’s still just a glaring, so I kindly show her my remaining middle finger,
I’m sure the Lord will understand.
You see, the day they found that little girl, drowned in the pond in my pasture
Well, that day was about the drunkest I’d ever been
And while I don’t remember much
I sure as hell know it wasn’t me that put her there.
I know I got my bad ways about me, but I swear, I ain’t ever been the type to look at a kid
the way someone looked at that little girl that day.
And when they drug her out, and brought her to lay at the foot of my front porch
her little panties, decorated with baby bunnies, wrapped tight round her throat
Let’s just say it wasn’t the whiskey that had me puking.
Not that Sheriff Russell would believe that. It was too easy. After all, wasn’t my daddy the same?
One thing they’ve yet to tell me, since I was in such a drunken state
Is how I got that l’il girl, cross three states in just as many hours?
12 people up and said they saw me at Dugger’s not two hours before.
But they tell me Pastor Charles and the Sheriff conferred with the Lord
and the Lord said, you are right boys
this man must suffer the punishment of the law!
Well, you see the law didn’t have much, and I lawyered up, just like they do in the movies
and because of that big city lawyer, I got to do five years and the town got to solve the crime.
Never mind that for those five years, an innocent man was getting schooled in things no man should,
and that nervous look in the Pastor’s eyes, tells me he knows it.
Yup, he knows it all to well. I can even hear his voice shaking as he sings,
trying not to look at me…you see, I wasn’t supposed to come home.
Seems, I ain’t that hard on the eyes, and when you’re locked up, money loses its power
and you learn how to barter with different things.
The man whose shank was supposed to be buried in my head, turned into a close connection
And didn’t mind sharing with me, after I shared with him, who it was that wanted me taken down
he also didn’t mind sharing with me how he came to know this man
And how this man had promised him salvation in return.
Wonder if Pastor Charles had salvation on his mind
the day he picked up little Anna Powers from the bus station, just before her Daddy got there
I wonder if he was singing to the lord when he wrapped his dainty little fingers round her throat
Forgive me Father for I have sinned.
There all sitting back down now, the singing stopped, but Pastor Charles remains standin
that’s his job after all, and it makes him a perfect target.
It’s only the Pastor that notices I’m still standing too
and his eyes meet mine.
The sound wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be,
I think the screaming of the women was the worst, and the blood
I never did take well to blood.
But I swear, in the stench and chaos that followed
I know God spoke to me, and I know, that even though it may be a sin
He will forgive me. I’ve already paid my dues in hell to Pastor Charles.
Two bullets…it was all I needed, so it was all I took.
And I had a hell of a headache anyway.
Not sure if this was what he had bargained for when Mark Kerstetter prompted us to get into the head of a character with Poetics today at the pub…but this is what came out. I apologize for it’s length, you won’t get many this long from me! But I do appreciate you reading…if you made it this far! So now it’s your turn…join us at dVersePoets and lend your own voice, your own character, to this awesome prompt.