The White Church

 by Frederick Foote

On a Sunday morning walking down a country road

in the blackest state in a 86 percent-black county

I came upon a brilliant white church on a hill.
I peeked in the window at the row upon row of
fresh White faces in their proper places.
I studied the stained-glass windows
with the White Jesus, White Adam and Eve
and White apostles.

I opened the door and stepped inside.
And discovered the banner saying "White Pride."
The preacher spied me and stopped in mid-stride.
The congregation turned as one to gaze
on me standing in the church door.
I was paralyzed by the laser lock of their eyes.
The ushers rushed to me and seized my arms.
The minister thundered, "Who are you?"
The crowd hissed, "Why are you here?"
My assailants tighten their grips.
I said, "Do you not recognize me?
My father has sent me to you."
Their roar was like a great fire
that scorched my soul.
"Apostate, Pretender, Son of Cain! The Dark Angel!"
They screamed as they stomped their feet and
spat on me and cursed my presence.
They drownded me in the baptism well.
They butchered me on the altar into 100 pieces and
spread my remains among the congregation.
They celebrated their conquest well into the night.
They buried me in their yards or fed me to their hogs
or embalmed me for a forever keepsake, or hid me away.

The next Sunday finds me resurrected.
One hundred of me entered the church door and spilled down the aisle.
The churchgoers were in a severe panic.
Several faint. A handful are trampled. Two die on the spot.
Others run to their vehicles and return with their
automatic rifles, shotguns, pistols, and one hand grenade.
They are unflinching in their devotion to our deaths.
Our bodies are piled in a bloody mound in the center of the church
that they burn to the ground and bring backhoes and front loaders
to bury the remains, ours and the churches.
There is no celebration, but there are many sighs of relief.

Our soot and ashes settled on leaves, grass, and weeds. Come Sunday,
we were resurrected by the hundreds and commenced
to building a sturdy Black church on the hill.

White congregation members gathered their belongings, packed their bags,
and drove slowly past the new church on their way to a
mythical whiter Sunday in a shrinking, faltering White America.

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