Let us say “church”
And see if any dust balls
Spring out of the floor boards.
If we say “grace,”
Aren’t we really just saving faces
For a rainy day?
Who broke the bottle of champagne
Over the hull of our fellowship?
Did it drip and leak
Into the storage closets
And our once-a-week rations?
Inasmuch as we are uncrowned kings,
Are we unragged vagabonds as well
(shuffling tremulously through life’s
drab and dungeon corriders)?
Was there ever a time
When we understood the meanings of words,
The ones we heave about carelessly,
Cannon balls into a field of infantry.