The Open Bible Baptist Church Hymnal, Sword of the Lord Publishers, Murfeesboro Tennesee
by Lynnel Jones
They strike a cord — these good old hymns —
even the Alzheimer-regressed pretend
“Tell me the old, old story…”
Catherine Hankey wrote the lyrics for that one.
I wonder if she’s titled “pastor’s wife”
like so many others in this book.
“Tell me the story often, for I forget it soon…”
I tell it every week.
It’s each time new.
Today the text is vineyards and wine.
“What did they make with grapes?” I ask.
says one, who wipes frail fingers
on her stained ghost-apron.
“…in a land where we’ll never grow old.”
We stumble along.
“Count your many blessings.”
See what God has done.
Lynnel Jones is a Minnesota native. Her poetry is steeped in the joys and struggles of Minnesota’s immigrant mining community, and the lives of the people of rural southern Virginia and Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains, where she now lives. Her undergraduate degree is in English. She holds graduate degrees in divinity and law. She is an experienced academic and community workshop leader and reader. Her poetry has appeared in numerous online and print journals. Her chapbook, Rocks and Crazy People, was published by Foothills Publishing in 2008. She was a 2009 Pushcart nominee.