Oh God, too long
have I been astray from Thee
~St. Augustine

I was trying, once again,
to read St. Augustine
when the door buzzer buzzed
and startled me
out of my recliner.
Because my dog’s bed
is situated up against
the front door
we use the back only.
Anyone I know
knows this as well,
so I clumped my way
out the back
on my cane
and hobbled up the drive
to meet strangers.
A fat woman was sitting
in the passenger’s seat
of an old Honda,
but her friend,
a tall, thin, well-dressed
black woman
came off the porch
with a smile and greeting—
She said,
we have come
to share some hope with you.
I noticed her Bible
tucked under one arm,
and, perturbed,
told her brusquely,
I am far beyond hope;
please go away.
I turned my back
on them and limped
my way back into the house,
gave the dog—
who had been barking
the whole time— a treat,
and collapsed back
into my chair to resume
Augustine’s “Confessions”
feeling the great
emptiness of the house—
in spite of the cat
on my lap, the dog
at my feet—
knowing God
had called on me
and I had turned
Him away
even so much as
a cup of coffee.