It Waits: A Bronzeville Ode To Gentrification

It’s waiting

      in a lush repose



              waited on


Singing for the Here and Now

She always felt so warm here, so comfortable and totally at ease, although she had long realized that her comfort and warmth were, after all, empty. The aqua-robed choir, shuffling side to side, to the right with a clap, then to the left with another clap, all in perfect unison. Their swaying, swooshing robes were a frame—almost a bright blue ocean backdrop from a school play—to the white-suited dervish who spun, rocked back on platform heels, stomped one foot forward and then the other, punctuating his words like a rhythm section all to himself. But of course the Reverend Alvin Foster had a rhythm section too—two besuited teenagers on bass and drums, one of them his favorite nephew, and as always Sister Marian on tambourine, banging away, a glow of sheer joy spread across her face.

The choir voices soared, rising to the low rafters and shuddering the small church to its very frame. Words of forgiveness, of salvation, of eternal bliss filled the crowded room, sixteen bars of fervent singing which then dropped to the melody hummed en masse as Reverend Foster paused his dance and resumed his sermon, continuing at first with the choir’s heavenly message before gracefully easing to a more cautionary tone.