Deacon Auntrell Smith

By Margie Shaheed

Posted on

“Be wat chu is
cuz if ya be wat chu ain’t
then ya ain’t wat chu is”

He sings the gospel
in a low down dirty bass
as he glides in the bar
on a yellow paper airplane

He places his bible
on the table
and orders a drink
of vodka and juice

He’s a retiree
with a pension trickling in
from Ford Motor Company
but he never has money
because it’s swallowed up
by his young wife
who has alligator teeth
and a large appetite
for crack cocaine

Said, “the preacha
had the congregation
howlin’ this mornin’
had opened up his heart
so that he may receive
a blessin’”

His firecracker wife makes him
sleep in the Eunuch’s basement
while she sits upstairs
entertaining other men

But, he believes,
God don’t put on you
more than you can bear
so he takes another drink
picks up his cross
and walks back to church
to wait for the evening
service to begin

– Margie Shaheed