The drive-in theater opens
with a rock star singing
gospel blues to honor
Bible and hymnal hang chained
from each speaker post.
The infield fills quickly with cars
and boats, some of them flapping
tiny American flags from aerials,
the beach their final destination.
The minister, dressed in white,
speaks from a podium visible
from all the way back,
his gestures as broad as those
in a stage play or a silent film.
After the announcement
that God loves a cheerful giver
golf carts with baskets scurry
car by car down the aisles
collecting the offering.
The sermon explains John 3: 16,
God’s love for all peoples
regardless of race or gender
and the hell that’s waiting
unless they turn to Jesus
and the nation to right living.
When the organ plays “Just as I Am,”
the invitation is given
and with tears running down their sides
many cars drive forward.
William Ford has two chapbooks, Allen & Ellen and Descending with Miles, forthcoming from Pudding House Press. His poems have also appeared in Southern Humanities Review, Prairie Schooner, Hamilton Stone Review, and elsewhere.