Words from the Labyrinth Ray Zimmerman (c) 2014
Churches without steeples line the road.
Buildings Methodist and Pentecostal pass my view
as the car radio blasts out Johnny Cash.
It’s not just any tune by Cash, but
a religious classic recorded near his death,
“When the Man Comes Around.”
Despite the apocalyptic images in the song
I see only one church that boasts the name
Holiness, and none mention “Signs Following.”
My mind is on that book, Salvation on Sand Mountain
as one other church boasts a “No Denominational” sign,
but I still see no indication of snake handlers.
I can’t blame those folks if they’re circumspect.
Strangers might confuse their services with theater,
though one should never make a circus of another’s beliefs.
If it’s rattlesnakes you want, I once photographed a beauty
crawling along another mountain, up near Mentone.
Big around as my forearm, she must have been pregnant.
A Chattanooga naturalist once took a program to a church.
She delighted the audience with hawks and owls.
At the harmless blacksnake, someone shouted,
“Wait, it’s not that kind of church.”