Four brothers who sing together

Our parents took us to their church four times
each week: on Sunday, twice, and then for prayer
on Wednesday night–on Thursdays they sang hymns
in choir rehearsal while one, two, three, four
of us played on, around, and under pews.
“You boys be quiet!” they would often say.

We learned to sing in Sunday School: “Jesus
loves me,” and “Hallelu Hallelujah!”
Soon all of us were singing in the choir…
Then we grew up, our parents aged and died.
One atheist, one pantheist, one pair
of liberal Presbyterians–none tied
to our folk’s Baptist faith, yet when we drink
we sing their songs in four-part harmony.

– little stevie shoemaker, urbana, il, july 6, 2013