Boxing, Beer, and Sunday School in Women’s Bathrooms


Note: I wrote this years ago. To give you some context, my father was a minister and we used to have church at a Knights of Columbus building for awhile. They would have boxing matches the night before, and so, when we got to church, we would find the remains of the night before: blood splattered boxing rings, overturned chairs, and partially drunk cups of beer. There were no rooms to hold Sunday school in, and so, some of the classes would take place in the bathroom or locker rooms.

Overturned folding chairs

and littered plastic cups

that say Miller on the side.

Smashed cigarette butts

and stale smelling air.

Blue boxing ring

in the center of the room

covered in crusted blood.

Spit buckets in corners

sweat rags draped

from their sides.

The saints gather

into the holy place

to sing their worship songs.

Children scatter

to their Sunday rooms,

some the women’s bathroom;

others, to men’s locker rooms,

left damp and gray.

Service ends

and children scatter,

some to find out

what beer tastes like

and others

to race down

echoing halls.

Saints and sinners

coexist in buildings

on a Sunday morning

in May.



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