This bright blue first day of December
a tail wind brings my bike to town,
passing a pilgrimage of pick-up trucks
trailing five floats for the parade.
Styrofoam reindeer on crepe paper snow
pull that empty sleigh of sturdy foil
Coming home I pass the small black church,
in the head wind hear the choir,
patched cars parked on the grassless lawn,
trying out "Messiah" to the organ thumps.
Not through the wind or the fire
but the still small voice
of the whisper in the night
from the woman on the mule
to the man in the road
Evelyn Mattern was a member of the Sisters for Christian Community and worked as a lobbyist and organizer for the North Carolina Council of Churches when this poem appeared.