Slideshow: My Father’s Faith

A Nativity scene carved in granite.

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The bullfrog swells, pauses, holds
his song like a brass paten
beneath white jowls.

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This penny on the sidewalk you can never pick up,
no matter how long you let your nails grow.
Could be a fluke of gravity, could be glue,
could be a magic intended for someone more pious than you.

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The sword transfixes the giant loaf of pumpernickel,
quivers slightly. It’s not going anywhere, either.

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Holy Mary, ever virgin, never passing gas,
maybe never bleeding. She offered her labor pains
as a sacrifice to her son upon the cross.

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A well-fed, amply lubricated hermit
showering amidst mildewed screens
in a suburban wilderness.

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The still, soft voice inside
murmurs something I can’t catch.

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This is the eternal answer, the prime meridian
separating the hemispheres of the sheep
and the goats, the corpus callosum of the soul.
But there is no atlas, no anatomy textbook
until you have reached the fourth degree.

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A sock drawer filled with class rings,
geodes, scapulars and water balloons.

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What did you expect to find
when you cleared the basement?
A shrine behind a hidden panel? A framed
psalm in honor of the sump pump?

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A pocket Jesus clothed as a seven-star general.

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This dim, heart-sized, fist-shaped clot,
like a doorstop. Bakelite? Dried gum
or amber? An unknown material.

 

 

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