Hannah More, the First Sunday School Lady
The only Bible in town props a flower pot
in the deserted parish.
Children are buried without ceremony.
Farmers warn “religion will ruin
the economy of harvest, of growth.”
Couldn’t be content to pile her hair on her head,
a few lemons or lemon-flowers to garnish?
Couldn’t be content to write script, stay
in town, with ladies and lords who didn’t get it?
Hannah gathers up the children first,
then mothers and fathers, teaches them
what makes a life
grow green and strong:
Scripture, sewing, cooking meat
all the way through,
And the roots of spirit sinking down,
sinking down, into the hard, unworked soil.
About the Author: Renee Emerson is the author of Keeping Me Still (Winter Goose Publishing 2014) and Threshing Floor (Jacar Press 2016). Her poetry has been published in 32 Poems, Christianity and Literature, Indiana Review, Literary Mama, Southern Humanities Review, storySouth, and elsewhere. Renee lives in Arkansas with her husband and three daughters.