Finding Warmth

God and I have this thing –
I attend mass every so often,
he doesn’t strike me dead
with a lightning bolt.

I sit in the pew.
It’s hard, unforgiving wood
pressing into my back and legs.
Sunlight pierces the stained glass
like an ancient promise
and words spill from me
at all the appropriate cues.

“We believe in one god,
the father, the almighty,
the maker of heaven and earth.”

I always suspected
that we are Catholic,
because it was the closest church
to the hospital.
Dad would sneak out
for part of the service
to visit patients or finish paperwork
though he’d usually return
for the coffee and donuts.

It’s winter in North Dakota.
It usually is.
Mom puts on her fur coat
after the rest of us are bundled properly.
On those days, I would try to sit next to her
as I never normally would.
Leaning close, my head occasionally tilts
to touch her arm – soft fur caressing my cheek,
colorful windows glimmering like icicles,
and song resonating just above my head.
I touch my mom’s arm with a small hand
and I think that this is the kind of coat
that God should wear.

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