Mr. Rapture Pulls His Signews
by Troy Cady
It was Sunday, the Lord’s day. Before church, Mr. Rapture did some yard work.
As he removed the sign dated May 21, 2011 from the roadside, a long-haired man named Manny drove by. Mr. Rapture saw the faceless man’s black and white bumper sticker as he passed.
It read “Coexist”.
Mr. Rapture set his jaw and steeled his soul, while Manny continued mourning the loss of his two-year-old daughter. Her picture had been on a milk carton a couple months ago but Mr. Rapture never saw it. He had been too intent on studying his Bible, parsing verbs and manipulating sevens, to notice milk carton pictures.
Yesterday, they found her body in the garbage dump. Her name was Amanda but Mr. Rapture had never heard of her and, therefore, he had never prayed for her or went out looking for her.
Wichita looked grey
this morning for
hoping to capture
heaven at the wrong time
in the wrong place.
“Deliver me from these sinnerssss, holey Gawd.”
He strode, stiff-backed
and stiff-necked, ignoring cracks
in the front steps,
approaching the curbside parkway,
littered with signs of the times,
some pronouncing timeless judgment
on ill-loved neighbors lacking solidarity.
Anonymous souls passed by in scarred cars,
traveling east and west,
as Mr. Rapture pulled expired pickets
from the brown crabgrass,
leaving every odd red-letter verse
that quoted words Jesus never said
on peeling yellow-painted plywood,
sickly approximating heaven’s gold.
He stubbed his toe on a brimstone,
and replaced an errant tuft of hair.
(Everything must be in its place.)
Undated boards of repentance tarried roadside
as Mr. Rapture carried eight dated signs
to his garage.
(Tomorrow, he will commence replacing elevens with twelves.)
Meanwhile, Jesus tarried next door
with Mr. Rapture’s neighbors
who love the world well.
Yesterday, as Mr. Rapture watched the sky,
Jesus enjoyed a back yard barbecue
baptizing himself in the kiddie pool.
A bird flew near his shoulder
while the sun shone, well-pleased.
And Mr. Rapture missed Jesus’ coming and staying.
As the coals were lit in the Weber grill yesterday,
its incense rose to heaven.
And the Spirit interceded: asking the Father
to burn Mr. Rapture’s plot of judgment,
because nature is renewed
after a forest fire.
Today, both Mr. Rapture and his neighbor
will keep their eye on the weather,
one, hoping to leave soon,
the other, hoping to live long.
The latter will live soon
while the former will leave long,