Spin Your Hat Around and Tell Them You're a Quaker [Lectio Divina]
The coffee shop's a veritable canine ark, especially days like this with rain
hammering the dogwoods. Voices weave together into tapestries of nonsense,
patchwork conversation shawls spread across our shoulders. An elderly gentleman
lectures his date about the spiritual aspects of Eminem and Philip Glass.
Teacup fuzzdog rests its paws on the edge of a bench, begging for scraps.
The old man tells a story about a man who held his hands clasped together
in supplication for so long, his fingernails grew intertwined, the hairs on his knees
rooted themselves in the sod. A woman gripes about the overly spicy won tons
she had the night before. A Shih Tsu in an argyle sweater presses its wet nose
into her palm, dripping yolk. The air is clogged with pollen.
"Last night she was out there eating the grass like a tiny little sheep."
An angel with acne and a nose ring munches her bagel with intense concentration.
A huge bear of a dog shakes the water from its silver grizzled head.
In case you're wondering, the soup of the day is New England clam chowder.
The old man muses about lectios and how difficult it is to find them.
His date talks about writing divine poetry.
"What is the difference between a chapbook and a zine?" he asks her.
We sneeze our sticky prayers into virgin handkerchiefs. No one says gesundheit.
Spaniels prick up their ears at the chittering of a squirrel, just one of God's many
"Spin your hat around and tell them you're a Quaker,"
the elderly gentleman says. I have no idea
what it means. A bat-eared mongrel leads its owner on a hand-woven leash
and all the other dogs start barking murderously.
"Better to use your water pick than your floss,"
the woman says. The rain stops, the sun glows
between the young leaves, all of us forgiven,
even those of us who would dare to try to sort
these utterances out, unravel the babble
as tiny pink tongues slurp the floor.