Rainbow Hollow Good News Tent Revival
by Debi Swim
In the field back of the houses it stood
as though the gentle overnight shower
had mushroomed it into being.
We kids dropped our bikes, awed, excited
and entered that great tent, its flaps raised
to let in what bit of breeze was stirring.
Straw was scattered over the stubbled
ground, dusty, musty, hot smell of barn
and row on row of folding chairs, empty,
waiting to cradle sinners’ sorry selves.
A lectern at the front stood
full of grave responsibility for tonight’s
Rainbow Hollow Good News Tent Revival.
Giggling, I stood behind the lectern,
motioned the others to sit and preached a
rousing, shouting, glorious story of
sin and death, and born again. Then
we ran out lest the Holy come down
at our possible sacrilege (though I
think He would have smiled at our game)
ran out into bright sunshine of
biking and tag and country lanes.
Process notes: Every summer, in the small community of Rainbow Hollow in northeastern Tennessee, a tent revival appeared like magic for a week of hard preaching before moving on to the next little town, an attraction (not unlike the generic carnivals that were small town fare in those times) to the children filled with wonder and yet a thing to laugh about, too.
Debi Swim writes primarily to prompts. She is a wife, mother, grandmother and persistent WV poet. Blog: https://georgeplaceblog.wordpress.com/