Saturday, May 5, 2012

"Older Preachers" by Garris Elkins

Older preachers like me
see the treadmills of passing ministry 
as foisted rides in some clergy amusement park.
To roller coaster rides of success we were drawn
the rising then the falling,
stars on the upward climb
the ticking, clacking sounds of approval, rising
taking us up to the crest for release
towards the bigger, the better, the more,
becoming models dressed for ascent
soon to be clothed in mid-life therapy.
New books now written on the healing ride down
filled with sage advice to not,
to not board the ride in the first place.
Remaining earth-bound now
reconnecting with deeper things discovered under foot
than the high ride can promise,
things missed the first time around.
At this age these rides make me dizzy.
Ride if you must,
youth may require it of you.
But here's my ticket-to-ride, its yours.
I say cash it in,
buy some cotton candy.
Then take a long stroll, look up and pray
for those on the roller coaster ride,
each one a cotton candy candidate.