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On Sundays when football isn’t on
our family naps through high noon westerns
after church. In my dreams, gun fights echo the sermon.

This morning my daughter’s Sunday school lesson
tells the Magi story. We hurry to return
home because this Sunday, football is on.

Thank God talk of kneeling teams has died down.
My daughter colors a picture of those eastern
wise men as the anthem replaces the sermon

in our ears. She uses a yellow crayon
for yon star over Jesus while the Cowboys don’t earn
a playoff berth. When football isn’t on

I flip to Eastwood’s Unforgiven.
Three bad men arrive to kill other bad men then turn
and kill the bad sheriff, too. If a movie was a sermon,

I’d wonder what actual justice had been done.
My wife walks in with her phone, tells me to turn
on the news. This Sunday when football was on,
at another church, a gun fight was the sermon.

Photo by Keith Johnston on Unsplash

Seth Wieck

Seth Wieck's stories, essays, and poetry can be found in Narrative Magazine, Langdon Review of the Arts in Texas, and the Broad River Review where he won the Ron Rash Award for Fiction. His poetry and stories have also been recognized or shortlisted by Texas Review Press, the Everett Southwest Literary Award, and Fare Forward. He lives in Amarillo with his wife and three children and is a candidate for an MFA at the University of St. Thomas in Houston.