Hiding Again from the Jehovah’s Witnesses

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,

I’m invisible.



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