God Serves up Golden Calf during the Lunch Hour

by Meredith Purvis

WE'RE out to quick-lunch
stuff our faces, but get stuck
in the drive-through lane.
And we're bovine content to wait and bask
in the golden-arch glow,
listen to the hiss and crackle,
the forcefully cheery and not-quite-pop
bada-ba-ba-bah that issues
from the talking box.

Our lunch-hour reverie is shattered
by this nosey punk kid
who shoves his greasy, prepubescent
face through the window
Of the car Would you like dessert . . .
on God ?

And there's no question
which God he's talking about
The sandaled, bearded, testosterone-
filled Anglicized version.
That's the one that would hand
out warm apple-pie,
aim right for the gooey center
of the Heartland

All we can think to say is no thanks.
Pull up and order, glide away
from the restaurant and the retorts
flow like manna from heaven:

Which god? No, but I'll take one on the goddess.
Silly boy, God can't buy me dessert, he's dead.
No, Satan told me not to.

And behind the giggles and the snide
remarks, there's something galling
about the accuracy of the God's aim.
What better place to fish for followers
than at the altar of the idol,
bend the golden calf to His use,
use our sin to tempt us to His side.

And everyone loves something for free
so of course God would jump on that band
wagon, here in the land of minimal effort
and maximum return, the something for nothing
economy was just waiting for a deity.
And both sides win, the savee and the saver.
His masses are armed with sweet-scented
apple pies, adding notches to the cross at the low
low price of a dollar a soul.

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