Friday, December 10, 2010


 susan ambrosino

You had nothing to confess, there's no sin
you ever committed hefty enough to matter
to anyone but yourself,
you walked right up to the altar, hands out, took the host,
mouthed it, chewed, swallowed.
It was your right,
no humble kneeling, no head hanging, no lowered eyes,
no sense of shame, no remorse, no need to be grateful,
you sat down in the church pew a few moments,
showed respect,
it was what you were taught,
then walked straight out into the sun
thinking it would be nice to have a cup of coffee,
basking in self approval,
everyone's admiration.
But now you've stopped going to church,
you go to your local library.
Though it's small, it nourishes
many more ideas than your local catholic church with its
one opinion on any subject you can think of,
there's a reason children won't sit still in church.
Digital television with its hundreds and hundreds of channels
leads to so much
and everyone who goes online has their own
The internet breaks into your home, lets the canary
out of its cage,
leaves your front door open,
the dogs and cats rush out, they flee feral down the block,
you never know what the wind may rage in, familiarity
with yourself
is something to break out of.
Yoga breaks you down.
The twisting and stretching of muscles,
joints of the body, squeezing excess juices, lymph flowing,
leaving cells leaner, drier,
steady, still and comfortable,
metabolic rate humming along a fixed and balanced pace,
mind at the center of focused attention,
the body everything
for the hour you are there,
mood melding into dimmed candle light,
blissful music, calming aromatherapy scents,
the instructors tranquil
slow speech guiding poses,
like church with no preaching,
no one telling you what to do, what not to do, you
let it happen,
you beget the cause of everything,
you are god.
The child who saved the civilized world
was born in a crude dwelling for animals.
He was mankind's sensation
of amazing saving grace.
Now you bring gifts to a perfect egg
in a room trimmed with good oak
as the light fades into early night, but outside
the window, or on the television,
you thought you saw a missile shoot past fast,
its journey unknown,
a shooting star or an act of war.
Every year you leave
one branch of your artificial Christmas tree in the attic,
buy fewer gifts,
you fill your inflatable gratitude with yourself.

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