The white-robed man in the pulpit described
the difference between being stingy
and open-fisted, his analogy
losing steam in the anecdote he told
about not eating his cook’s casserole
when the latter is madly indisposed;
he’d ask the sacristan or the sweepers
to taste the dish and ensure the poison
does not get him first. The snickers did not
immediately erupt from those who used
to patronize his homily humor.
They were most probably preoccupied
with the morning paper’s agitation
over the burial of a soldier, saint
or sinner, wherever your loyalty
leans. The congregation is divided
into kneeling and standing because
he dilly-dallied on his pronouncement
and the witch hunters turned into witches
before burning their victims and themselves.
They parade, posturing like peacocks, high
and pedestal-less, self-assured of their
pews, pillars and petitions more special
than the common pittance the poor can give.
The difference in their pushing is that
no one is shot dead on streets or in bed.
Only the imminent spark enkindling
before their euphoria was arrested.
Abraham de la Torre