I can’t let today pass without posting something of a pseudo-poetic nature. Today’s is based on things overheard while I waited to get my car serviced.

Two people walked by me while I was searching for story ideas. One was describing faith to the other by quoting from the King James Version of the Bible:

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen.

I don’t know if he misquoted, or if I misunderstood, but what my ears heard as they passed was that faith is the “absence” of things hoped for. The strange part is, the absence of things hoped for sounds so poetic, that, at first, it seemed correct.

Later, I overheard the same two guys chatting. This was their conversation:

“I’ll pray for you, if you think it will do any good.”

“Can’t hurt.”

“Won’t hurt a bit. Just like pulling teeth.”

“You gonna numb me first?”

“If you think it will do any good.”

“Can’t hurt.”

“Not a bit.”

I thought only my stories wrote themselves. Apparently, my pseudo-poetics do too.

.   –   .   –   .

An Absence of Things Hoped For

Anger pulled the patient out of bed

Anger from a half-hearted offer of prayer

.   .   .

Patient and preacher wallowed through small talk

Covered necessary unpleasantries of politics

.   .   .

Before walking away

The preacher said

.   .   .

I will pray for you

If you think it will do any good

.   .   .

That is when the patient raised himself

In strong lack of faith or abundance

.   .   .

What kind of preacher visits sick people

Then curses them with lame prayers the patient said

.   .   .

Prayers like that stick to things on the way up

Droop from low ceilings and ooze down plastered walls

.   .   .

You pray only if I think good will come from it

How long have you been a dependent believer

.   .   .

What are your thoughts on the subject preacher

The patient questioned

.   .   .

My faith is not in question the preacher said

Now what about yours

.   .   .

The preacher offered a challenge

If you think it will do any good

Take hands

Bow heads

Close eyes

And stand kneeling

.   .   .


If you think no good will come

Shake hands

Shake heads

Open eyes

And stare stuck at low ceiling and plastered walls

.   .   .

The patient gave a hand

But the preacher stopped before starting

.   .   .

What will do you good the preacher said is to

Leave as if nothing is wrong with you

.   .   .

The patient rose out of bed and dressed himself

He ran as if he now could

.   .   .

The preacher was still stuck kneeling

Head bowed eyes cried open grinning

.   .   .

He ran away he just got up and ran away

A nervous nurse said

.   .   .

Evidence of things unseen the preacher said

Drag me to the bedside of another

.   .   .

The nurse did as requested and witnessed

Miracles through tears of sad joy

.   .   .

In the end the preacher asked who’s there

I am

.   .   .

All beds are vacant except for yours the nurse said

Empty beds like harvested fields

.   .   .

The preacher said take my hands

The nurse reached

.   .   .

Felt for where they had once been

And held onto what she found

.   .   .

Under ceilings low with echoes

There were other words

.   .   .

A whisper of thanks

Maybe two

–   .   –   .   –