An Old Ceremony


Approach with reverence
That alter, the kitchen table
Sanctified with silent tears
Scored by knife marks
Reminders of hands that trembled
Ever so slightly
As they neatly carved
The meat for Sunday dinner.

It’s tradition, he doesn’t mean it
A passion play, learned beneath
Table legs, eyes that watched
Blood flower across the linoleum
Isn’t that how religion starts
Get them while their young
Until they learn all the hymns
Until it lives with them
Beneath the skin.

The varnish reflects
A rosary of knuckles
Blues and purples that match
Her scarf, knotted tight
Placid, meek, the sacrifice
Not even the memory of a smile
To hang from the lines around
Her lips, silent, suffering
Till death do us part.

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2 Responses to “An Old Ceremony”

  1. movin’ shit around in this place to see if you’ll notice
    count your spoons lately?

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