“Dish Team at Church Camp” by Tim Sherry

Tim Sherry


Dish team isn’t washing feet
bowed before the shamed and poor.
It isn’t getting anyone to heaven
because of its goodness.
The dirty side is the plates and pans
coming at you like Lucy’s chocolates
and staying just behind enough
to keep up. Human frailty itself.
The clean side is sanitized hands
touching only the things ready to put away
that come out hot! from the big dishwasher
someone named Aunt Alice. Purity of spirit.
Shouting Hallelujah! is the new guy’s idea
of Trinity involved in doing dishes.
If only it was that way at home.
Here it’s part of the deal for the staff
who volunteer—room and board
for the summer to work garbage, plumbing,
lawns and gardens, child care, anything
needed to keep thy neighbor—
and then everyone does dish team
once a week to seal the covenant.
At home it’s a chore
just to load the dishwasher once a day.
At church camp it’s Dish Team!
for three hours after every meal
with the Father one hour,
the Son another hour, and the Holy Ghost
whooping it up until the last dish is done.

from Rattle #45, Fall 2014
Tribute to Poets of Faith


Tim Sherry: “I usually put it simply and say my faith is traditional—Lutheran. Raised in the church and active throughout my life, I have a firm understanding of mainline Christian theology and orthodoxy. However, I also have questions. Those questions often lead me to search for answers in other ways than through churchgoing, and living in the Pacific Northwest, I have often gone to the mountains for answers.”

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