Sunday, January 16, 2011

31 WInter Poems: Poem 15

My mother has always used religion to explain our lives,

lists of things we couldn’t do

commandments and punishments

sprinkled here and there with peculiar exaltations.

I’ve never felt like I quite measured up to their expectations--hers or God’s.

I seem to remember sitting

on the tiny wooden chairs

in my Sunday school classroom,

the accordian doors closed

protecting the pulpit from our too-loud voices.

While we made tombstones out of Playdoh

to roll away on Easter morning,

I examined the paintings of Jesus

staring down from the walls around me--

wondering how it was possible

that I could have been made in the image of God.

Feeling not so much like a photocopy

but instead like a fax of a fax,

so that even the outline is an approximation.

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