Pentecost by Janet Barry

Praise be!     The man at the end of the bar wore a suit and tie.      Red, of course.

There were no flowers but it didn’t matter.     I thought of flowers and my mother

who died last December but it didn’t matter.       I thought of a Regime across the

ocean which believed it was  OK  to defend its sovereignty by slitting the throats

of twelve year old boys.     Suspected of being Rebels.      I’m talking about Syria.

But it doesn’t matter.      Maybe my facts are wrong.      Maybe it never happened.

Maybe nothing can ever happen again, and I can drive to Reading Massachusetts

and my mother will be there planting Marigolds and Paradise Flowers,  Morning

Glories that will climb the trellises to the peak of the garage, bloom purple-white

above the brown of an August drought.     Does this matter?    Does it matter that

the man at the end of the bar speaks earnestly? That his glasses are pushed up on

his head that his tie is still red but he has worked hard today and earned a certain

freedom from the office.      Praise be!     He is in need of drink and conversation.

Drink and an attractive woman to smile at his strained lawyer face that just today

defended a young black refugee in the city of Concord New Hampshire here only

to steal our jobs and welch off our welfare system      the accusers said     red lips

spit moistened with Paradise Flower dreams     red lips split   moistened and I am

unfair to his red tie.     There were many who called for his death.     The accused

that is.    Many who climbed gothic spires to scream for his crucifixion and He is

in need of incense and prayers   a pound of ointment against all things that do not

really matter. There were many who raved and some who mourned and still some

who declare innocence despite honey-sweet righteous smiles         on the evening

news.     Speaking earnestly.     Reading the New York Times.    My mother grew

sunflowers each year which turned unfailingly to face the light.       And this does

matter.   The man at the end of the bar with a suit and tie.     Red of course.    The

Regime will fail.      The hanged will smile sweetly.     Praise be!     No apologies.

Janet Barry
streamimage Janet Barry is a musician and poet with works in numerous journals and anthologies including Ragged-Sky Press, Off-the-Coast, Cider Press Review, Canary, Adventus, Edge, and New Mirage Journal. She serves yearly as a judge for Poetry Out Loud, and has received Pushcart Prize nominations for her poems “Winter Barn” and “Commandment.” Janet holds a BM in organ performance and an MFA in poetry. To see more of her work, please visit