Mix the Old with the New

At the Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church, black

people joyfully bob their heads while Benita shouts

He’s awesome and holds out the microphone.


He’s awesome!


He’s awesome!


He’s excellent! she screams.


Whoever playing that ’lectric guitar, playing the fool

out those strings.


Nevertheless, Mrs. Montgomery, the deaconess

with bowed head, misses her Fountain Filled with Blood


Slow gospel from the desultory keys to the supernal parts

she sings in an almost silent voice to sunlight

in stained glass windows


Lo! The keyboard, figuratively turned over


Nibbled fingers pump it. Music develops—still don’t you think

New churches ought to sing old hymns.


Proverbs 23:10—Remove not the old landmark.