Back at St. Martin's Church,
ours was not a god of subtleties.
Our god, whose name was Gott im Himmel,
demanded memorization of long passages
of the Heidelberg Catechism.
He demanded a congregation
in woolen suits over woolen underwear,
an aroma of chores just accomplished
in barns full of Holsteins.
He demanded music from an organ
earnestly but poorly played
by the arthritic fingers of a very old woman.
Hymns no one knew.
Endless sermons from a very old man.
Our god did not care much for joyful noises.
And though he'd share tiny cubes of bread
and sips of wine,
he seemed to prefer potato pancakes,
pork sausages and apple sauce.
Real cream in his coffee.
In his heaven, we knew there was lager beer.
In Hell, there were thin people.
~ Ralph Murre