THE SPIRIT OF GOD

It hatched the singularity
as if it were an egg,
haunted the wilderness,
twisted prophets’ tongues.
Like a rain of gold
it filled a virgin’s womb.
Fire, wind, a dusty dove–
some say it overturned the world.

One Sunday when Betty was a girl
she peeked into the Holy Roller church
and saw her neighbor—
she made us donuts on Saturdays,
dyed her hair with butter-color–
anyway, she was rolling down the aisle
and everybody was clapping and jabbering
some lingo I couldn’t make out.

That’s a pretty rare thing
in Vermont, Betty and I agreed.
We have a spirit here, yes,
but more like a river in thaw,
ripe tomatoes,
or that first blinding snow.
It doesn’t run its mouth, or roll.

Do you have that noisy kind?
Do you want it?
And what in the world
would you do if you had it?
Even the charismatic Paul complained:
     What’s the point 
      if nobody understands?

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