Excursions & Arrivals, by Brett Foster

Excursions & Arrivals The sign at the corner of the property at the foot of […]

Todd Brewer / 2.25.14


Excursions & Arrivals

The sign at the corner of the property
at the foot of the driveway—”No
eighteen wheelers allowed in the church
parking lot”—may be exactly the confirmation
I needed that I am currently passing
by a Baptist church a little to the south
of Chattanooga. Was it a recurring problem
that led to its posting? Did the congregation
rebel or reach the proverbial tipping point?
Even so, I’d like to think they would make
an exception, that every once in a great
while they might wave the driver toward them
with his truckload of passengers battered
bruiseful by all of the loveless difficulties
that make up so very much of this life,
not pallets of freight they’d come to expect
but many blemished ones hungry to the point
of being famished, urgent for the Son
rising with his big paper-carrier’s bag
of good news and promises or even simple
reassurances like, You are not going
to perish now, or You are mightily
welcomed here, even though you’re fully
known here
, and so on. Against hope, I hope
sometimes that those Baptists are smiling
as they direct the eighteen-wheeler’s driver
forward, forward with the bird’s-wing flutters
of their sweet, inviting hands, as if saying
Pull yourself on in here now, buddy.
You take up as many spaces as you need
while already his long trailer is being
unlatched and its metal door rolled up
so as to let that Tennessee light pour in,
clarifying its darkened conveyances,
especially brightened on Sunday morning
as I imagine it now, while driving slowly
on Spring Creek Road south of Chattanooga.

The above appears in the Mar/Apr issue of Books and Culture (and online here). For more from B&C, see here.


One response to “Excursions & Arrivals, by Brett Foster”

  1. michael cooper says:

    Although the Episcopal church I attend doesn’t have such a sign, they don’t really need one since it does not appear there are too many truckers in the crowd. In posh churches, we don’t really need “no” and “don’t” signs, since money (or the lack of it), which is the quantified essence of “the law”, has already done that work for us by weeding out most of those who would even need to be told.

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