24 October 2011

Hard-Won Dry Run

When I went to the Affirmation conference for gay and lesbian Mormons in September, one of the speakers was Joanna Brooks at the Kirtland Temple. Yesterday as I was driving home from dinner at my nephew's, I was surprised to hear her being interviewed on NPR. Today there was a new post from her blog. Someone had written in asking about going back to church after a period of inactivity. This poem is a response to her blog.

Hard-Won Dry Run
24 October 2011
Here’s a plan for your first time going back.
Pick a chapel where two or three wards meet.
This maximizes chaos and minimizes flack.
You simply go into the foyer and have a seat.
There you can watch the toddlers running,
The Primary girls sharing stories and gossip,
The young men bettering each other’s cunning
And parents doing their best to worship.
When you’ve had enough, as you please
Get up and leave. No harm, no foul.
Most chapels are built with entries
On both sides in the back. When you prowl, 
And people are filing in, you join the tide 
To collect a program. Then continue 
Across the chapel and out the other side.
The flyer will have information about the who
And what of ward events. You now know
About potlucks and campouts, activities
That let you mingle on your status quo
Without violating your own proclivities.
This poem was made by a guy
Who hasn’t attended in years,
Is once-burned, twice-shy
And understands your fears.

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