by Peter Huggins

Just my wife and I sit in
Our pew now.
First one child,
Then the other left.
I can handle their leaving,
But when I see
The empty spaces along
Our pew and the parents
Going to the communion rails
With their children, I wish
I could tell them to enjoy
The pleasure of taking
Their child’s hand in their own,
Of showing them what to do,
I get off my knees and slide back
Against the hard, unyielding wood.

Peter Huggins is the author of seven books of poems, including the forthcoming Small Mercies. He has also published three books of fiction for children; Trosclair and the Alligator appeared on the PBS show Between the Lions. A recipient of a Literature Fellowship in Poetry from the Alabama State Council on the Arts, he taught for thirty-one years in the English Department at Auburn University.

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