This is the House of the Lord
In my mother and father’s house, a neighbor brings the morning newspaper to the back door. Six-thirty and the paper leans in the dark against the steps. Another neighbor, every trash day, rolls the garbage can to the curb. Yet another carts the mail down the long driveway. If this neighbor finds herself busy with life, she has a backup, to bring in my parent’s mail.
In my mother and father’s house, my sister sits at the dining room table. The papers form a protective crescent around her spot. She bends over, figuring. Tonight, 2:00 will pass before she creeps toward bed. “Marcee?” Daddy will call as she takes her leave, and she will see what he needs.
In my mother and father’s house, my mother stands at the head of the driveway waving goodbye. It is 32 degrees outside. When I was hefting my luggage onto my arm, my father – 87 years old – said, “Is there something I can help you with?” I roll into the dark and my mother waves.
My parents live in Charlotte, a city that prides itself on its hustle and bustle, its go-go capitalism. But when I take my leave in the dark of early morning, there waits the paper leaning against the steps. My Father’s house, our Mother’s house – this is the house of the Lord.