by Kenneth Pobo

I went to church
every Sunday, memorized
Bible verses, knew the lyrics
to many Fanny Crosby hymns.

One Sunday,
I was twelve, I walked in
to the sanctuary early—
I saw Pastor Windom kissing Mrs. Clark,
his hand cupping
her chiffon behind.
They looked startled—and said
it was Christian love. Danny,
Mrs. Clark’s son,
attended Sunday School with me.

I had entered
the world of secrets.
Maybe what I saw I didn’t see.
Several years later the lies
dropped like maple leaves.

In spring I grew fresh leaves,
made a home for birds.