First‐Day Services


My grandfather put on his Sunday‐
go‐to‐Meeting clothes even before
he started going to church on Sunday

with his wife: white shirt,
suit pants, and shiny black shoes
to tap out his dances and sing
his prayers through the afternoon.

In the kitchen, my grandmother
washed the dinner dishes, latched
the cupboard doors. Mother
changed into her white uniform

and hurried up the hill to work.
Overhead, tenants settled in
to read the funny papers.

In the dim light of the bedroom,
I lay on my grandparents’ bed
listening. The earth stopped
its journey around the sun,

and then the moon stopped too.

Mary K. Stillwell lives in Lincoln, Neb.

Posted in: Friends and Other Faiths: Friends and Other Faiths, Poetry

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