How the Pastor Writes the Funeral Sermon

She prays then
starts in the
She puts down a thought.
She gets up and wipes her eyes.
She takes into consideration
the ways faces looked
at the hospital, their eyebrows,
the homemade picture board.
She re-reads the obituary,
finds a date, a place,
glances back at the Bible
and then to the screen.
Three strands—
A weaving class would have helped.
Or pointillism.
This is not linear.
Dot of grief goes next to dot of hope.
She spills some paint
and risk
until an image emerges.
It takes her by surprise.
Again she wipes her eyes.
In her mind
she puts herself in the front pew
where the widow sits
waiting, listening, faltering,
at the pallbearers coming down the aisle.
She hears in her head that line in that hymn.
Now she knows the beginning.
She types amen.

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