New Hope Church, noticeably not new,
abuts the rut road. It’s made of cement
and unpainted cinder blocks
and is separated from the sandy soil
not by color but by intention.
A patch of blacktop at the double-wide door
on the gabled side
spreads into a starving lot of scraggly weeds
going to seed in the smoldering torpor.
Squeezed between the church and the road
is an ailing Georgia oak, its trunk offering support
to a chaise lounge made of a sedan seat
where sits a middle-aged man
barely looking past the flies.
The remnants of yesterday’s sermons and songs
minister to the silence of the afternoon.
The man rests in the shade of the tree
three hundred years old
and in spite of his prayers, still poor.
~  ~  ~

Bonnie StanardBonnie Stanard is a retired editor and writer living in Columbia, South Carolina with her husband. Her work has been published in numerous journals such as Harpur Palate, Slipstream, Eclipse, and North Atlantic Review.She has completed two historical fiction novels which can be found on Her third novel is due out in 2013.