Aviary gloss on Mark 14:72 for clergy

We are the cocks crowing – we clergy.
It doesn’t really matter
what we say in all the sermons
we plan so long and shape so carefully
to inspire, not to offend,
and to illuminate the old stories.

We need not preen the liturgy –
the really eloquent prayers
(depending on our tradition and style)
either collects of the ages
or some ad lib collectings
of a congregation’s joys and concerns,

or our beaky embodied sacrament –
a baby in our arms
or a cup lifted over our heads.

We are the pulpit roosters,
poultry preaching something so holy
it scratches up
the barnyards of our own lives.

But mostly what we say doesn’t matter
so long as it is the second crowing
and even one person hears
the words
about whatever it is that is a denying
and stumbles out to weep
and finds the way back to love —

We need not toss our Easter feathers so,
but dawn is coming –
and we know we dare not be silent.


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