Three Poems

The Heavens Are Falling, The Heavens Are Falling

"He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge…"
Psalm 91:4

Take comfort,
   the pastor said, quoting scripture,
He will gather you under His wing.

I didn't argue aloud,
but I own chickens, hens
who keep their chicks safely under them
in brave deviance of any ominous rooster.
She separates herself from the flock:
chuck chuck, she soothes: Follow me.
peep peep, they persist: Help us.

Be amazed,
   the NPR reporter said, citing studies.
Virgin birth is common among cottonmouth snakes,
and mentions, casually, chickens, too,
can give rise to life created only by the female.

Take comfort,
   I say.
The God of Chickens,
She will amaze you.

Crumbs from the Table

Evidence against transubstantiation:
The small bowl beside the communion plate—
gluten-free Jesus.

Back Talk

~after Mark 7:24-30

I love the story so much
I tell it to myself a thousand ways:

Black Jesus walking
In his fly white Jordans, white jeans, white tee
With his hip homeboys, his college crew,
Down Chicago's south side sidewalk
When she steps down from the stoop.
"You got to help my baby," she calls to the One.

"Go on with you," the pack says, closing in,
"Make her go on."

He turns, though, sizes her up, speaks:
"Honey, I'm not here for you."

I can see her draw up,
Neck on a swivel, one fist jammed in her side,
A finger pointing him to the new think he has coming.
"I know who raised you," she levels,
"You are here for me."

A ring forms around them.
"Touché, Sister," he flashes a most brilliant grin.
"You're strong. Your baby be alright."

Jesus loves a back-talking woman,
So I know that he loves me.

About the Author

Britt Kaufmann

Britt Kaufmann lives in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina with her three teenage children, her husband, dog, cat, and forty some chickens. She has published poetry in various literary journals, has had two plays produced, and helped found the Carolina Mountains Literary Festival.