32 Psaltery & Lyre: Dayna Patterson, “Soft”




The folding chairs at church
Voices leavened
with laughter 

Light soaking up
white diamonds
on the curtain’s fabric

My stomach stretched to hold
two    I suck in to fit
my brown dress 

The ring of the bell
dismissing us
from Sunday School,

and the teacher’s voice
verses he’s marked red

His hair,
a wreath of blond feathers

The doctrine is an egg
in its shell
I can’t swallow 


a giant, heart-shaped pillow
with a small button-up
There, the shiny marble

of our universe
thorned and slaphappy

I shiver
in my chair
on the back row,

missing the shawl
of your arm
around my shoulders


Dayna Patterson is guilty of writing poetry during church. For her bio, click here.

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