Honorable Mention: 2017 Utmost Christian Poetry Contest $100
About this Christian Poet:
Dee Bowlin grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, graduated from college in Oklahoma, became a corporate trainer and later, owned a restaurant. When Dee successfully sold her restaurant on Craig’s List, she headed for the magnificent Blue Ridge Mountains and retired in Roanoke, Virginia. Her poetry has been published in Artemis, Encore, Golden Words, April in the Ozarks, Red Earth Revisited, and Virginia Literary Journal. She is a poetry contest judge and also teaches a lyric-writing class. Dee was honored as the 2011 Poetry Society of Oklahoma Poet Laureate and is an active member of Roanoke Valley Christian Writers.
About this Poem:
I love to take photographs of beautiful Virginia countryside. One day, I came upon a little white church nestled in a valley with the mountain’s fall foliage glowing behind it. It was set far off the road and I couldn’t even see a driveway leading up to the church. Since it was not Sunday when I snapped the picture, there wasn’t a car in sight. That’s what inspired the title, “Open on Sunday.” I imagined myself as the only person on a pew in that little church with God standing before me, waiting to hear what I had to say.
Open on Sunday
I slide into a slick-with-polish pew in the church
nestled in the valley, not a half mile from the house.
On this cloudless, chilly morning, it feels good to have
fingers of colored sunlight reach in through stained glass
to warm my face and hands. Looks like all is ready
for today’s celebration of faith, with red songbooks
in their proper slots and white lilies on the altar.
Got up early so I could be the first one here to have
my private one-on-one with God. I know He’s been
watching me all week, but this is our special time to talk,
before the organ drowns out my thoughts and the choir
marches down the center aisle through pews packed tight
with families all scrubbed clean for Sunday service.
In these peaceful few minutes, with plenty of room
to lay out the secrets held by my heart, my skin tingles.
I know He’s standing right in front of me, dressed in flowing
robes with His arms open, like the pictures you see, waiting
for His Word to be studied and songs of praise to be sung.
In the stillness of this empty church, before the preaching
and halleluiahs start, excuse me while I say my piece.
Copyright ©2017 by Dee Bowlin