A poem by Kathryn Lester-Bacon.

Photo by Steve Knutson on Unsplash

John the Baptist probably sounded a bit like Nathan,
especially when he’s not taking his medication,
like the other month, when he was so angry

that we wouldn’t give him any money, so he called
the cops on us, a church. “Which Nathan?” I ask
our office manager, when he comes knocking

on the door. “Which Nathan?” she asks, when I mention
I’ve seen him around again, with his red bible
and cardboard sign, a few blocks away. “How do you feel

today?” we ask him when he arrives at the door.
A few days after he called the police, Nathan
came back. He tapped on the doorframe, poured out

his apology, bowed his head. Each time he visits,
before we open the door, we must decide if he is in
a yelling mood or if today he feels more like

chatting, praying together, maybe even preaching
a bit, just like he does when he tells people
that they should come to our church,

“this church, right here, my church,”
which is what he did just the other week,
as he stood at the corner with his sign.