Monday, October 6, 2008
Sister Hayes Takes Up a Serpent by Rosanne Griffeth
Sister Hayes, she lifts her eyes up to the Lord so hard they roll back. She sings sacred songs and dances, quick-stepping and jerking as the anointing descends.
It descends like a tree a'falling. It falls like a wall of water. It walls up all fear of darkness. It fears no man or serpent.
Sister Hayes, she has the gift of tongues. She speaks them as she dances, hands held high and waving. She shakes so hard she bites her tongue. That, she says, is what happens when the anointing descends.
It descends like tear drops falling. It drops like a cloak of shadows. It shadows out the light of evil. It lights the darkest heart.
Sister Hayes, she wears her hair down. The Spirit rocks her hard. She twists and moans, "Oh Dear Lord, Sweet Jesus!" She can feel Him coming through her fingertips. And this how the anointing descends.
It descends like a bolt of lightning. It bolts the locks of Hell. It locks the box of sins. It boxes the devil's gifts.
Sister Hayes, she takes up a serpent. She fears no deadly thing. Her Lord holds her and she can feel Him quickening. She lifts up the rattlesnake, wears it like a crown.
Sister Hayes, she rolls her eyes up, serpents slither in her hair.
Sister Hayes, she tilts her head back, breathless for a holy kiss.
Rosanne Griffeth's work has been published or accepted by Night Train, Keyhole Magazine, Smokelong Quarterly, Pank, The Angler, Insolent Rudder, Thieves Jargon and Six Little Things among other places. She lives on the verge of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and spends her time writing, milking goats and documenting Appalachian culture. She is the blogger behind The Smokey Mountain Breakdown.