This spring I had two sets of Jehovah’s Witnesses within the same week. It was spring and close to Easter and just past Passover. I didn’t hide from the visitors at the front door, blessed as I am with a barking dog who monitors every aspect of the front yard. We spoke briefly and they presented me with reading materials and an invitation to a service. They also said they’d like to come back and visit with me some more.
It seems there is an opening in the psyche, occurring each spring, that might allow something new to emerge from the places we are otherwise closed off from the rest of the year. You can’t fault people who hold the possibility of positive change, for you and for themselves. Even if it is a little dark.
Hiding Again from the Jehovah’s Witnesses Sarah Gordon
Testimonials cower me, especially
of the spirit. I don’t want to open my door
to earnest strangers, I don’t want to meet
their eyes. Their cheerful chatter
on the other side of the screen
assumes an intimacy I do not feel.
They dress for Sunday on Saturday
and open their Bibles, the leather cracked,
finger a verse or two, and they’re certain.
So now I hover beside the windowless
wall in the front hall, where I hear,
in the domestic distance, the washer
sloshing, the dryer spinning my clothes
in and out of control, and perhaps the
swish of angel wings. My intrepid
visitors ring twice, quietly awaiting
this reluctant soul, thrice baptized,
loved beyond measure, or so
I’ve been told. But I don’t want
to hear news of the end (it’s coming,
you know), I won’t learn the signs
to watch for: rivers shriveling here,
sandbagged there, polar bears
in our back yard, birds plummeting
from the sky through no fault of their own,
and worse, the buzzing ears and frantic
hearts that lead us to run, lickety-split,
through red lights, guardrails, and
family fortunes, with an occasional
backward glance, the pillar of salt be damned.
The witnesses from Jehovah want in,
they want me to be watchful. They say
that’s what Jesus wants.
But I am leaning low and still
on the other side of the wall,
and when I close my eyes,