View from under the pew

By Gary Mitchell

Editor’s note: Amos is a church mouse, who types by hopping on the keyboard letters, and he can’t operate the capital shift, and he shuns punctuation marks – except dashes and hyphens.

The fruit peddler

boss there s a little
farmer earthworm here
named ernie who raises
veggies and fruit on the
land he and his family tills

during harvest season
ernie pushes his fruit
and veggie cart through
the highways and byways
of the church pew
underworld

to be honest boss i don t
know how he pushes that
cart around with him
having no arms or legs to
speak of methinks he
wears this tiny thimble as a
crash helmet and bumps
the cart with his head
from place to place

and i have no idea how he
manages to harvest all
those fruits and vegetables
i suspect he hires out
grasshoppers and locusts
as day laborers but don t
hold me to that boss

ernie is a quiet little
earthworm in fact boss
nearly all earthworms are
fairly quiet they just
don t do that much
shouting while they re
above ground
what they do underground
i dunno

at any rate when harvest
season comes round so
does little ernie

one day after he passed by
i noticed a tiny micro-
cassette recorder lying
near the spot where his
cart had been

being a somewhat naturally
curious churchmouse i
picked it up and rewound
it and listened for a moment

at the start of the tape i
was surprised to hear ernie s
voice uttering these words –
for his body s sake which
is the church –

then throughout the rest
of the tape there were
scriptural quotations and
ernie s notations such as –
the following were absent
from sunday school last
sunday be sure to visit them –

or another one that said –
ask about the sick baby –

a little later ernie s voice
said – leave fruit for the
blind ladybug –

still further on ernie noted –
speak a word of cheer to
the old crippled cricket –

and finally a last notation –
invite the new family of
water bugs to church sunday –

boss the next day i handed
the tiny cassette to the humble
little peddler and i says to him
i wonder if you might have
dropped this yesterday

yes i guess i did he says
it s my tape of reminders
as i call them thank you
very much

then i told him that i had
listened to the tape a bit
and was a little curious
about it all

well the message at the
first of the tape is my
motive my reason for
doing things – for his
body s sake which is
the church –

then boss he looks at
me and smiles this
beaming smile –
you see says he it keeps
my mouth and mind all a hum
my heart above life s fuss
my spirit out of the
doldrums and my soul
out of the dust
amos