Saturday, November 7, 2009

Pastor Lawson

Pastor Lawson

Of course I looked out the window first

before untwisting the locked bolt.

But now I was vulnerable at the gaping door frame,

realizing how easily I choose that questionable choice.

Grandmother used to advise in low tones

from her cushioned throne: dead bolt

that door during the day. All the new cities I’ve

lived in—the army moves our accumulate boxes

from garage to garage. Our ornaments lodge

in totes four high to the ceiling.

Four moves in four years. In San Antonio, we were prey

to the burglars and scammers. I locked the

doors and windows, owned a pit bull for a while.

In Georgia, “We cuhntry here in Jawjah,”

the athlete of a man at my door explained when I asked

his opinion on whether in the future I should open the door

to men who look like athletes whom I do not know who

knock on my door in the middle of the day.

Pastor Lawson, he introduced himself. He was selling a homemade

book of recipes to raise money for

a women’s shelter. “We’re cuhntry here in Augusta. The people

in cities are aggressive people. Unnerstand me?

But the Lawd will tell you when it’s safe to answer the door.”

And I was reminded that day

by a huge angel to my door

that perhaps my life was protected by God

regardless of whether I open my door to strangers.


Catherine Zickgraf

Catherine is a former Northerner excited about growing her roots into the
red Georgia clay. You can find her blog at

Her poetry has appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association
and in BirdsEye Review. She also has work forthcoming in GUD Magazine and