Church Flowers

The poinsettias at the Southview Baptist Church
looked so alive they seemed fake,
the crepe paper red of the upper leaves
startled the eye, the deep green leaves
absorbed so much light you’d think they were velvet.
Does Texas grow them more wild, more vividly
than elsewhere? They had a lot of sass,
Shining out glory in the dusty halfdark.
After the tent revival music,
after the tearful had been called to the altar
and everyone had been greeted
in the name of the Lord,
I crept timidly to the front. I had to feel it
with my fingertips to satisfy my mind.
I wanted to know if they were real.

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