At The Writers' Conference

by Bill Holm

After my rambunctious verbal assault
on two thousand years of Christian baggage,
three thousand of European mistakes,
a sprightly, pin-curled old lady with sad eyes
asks: “Why do you call it Christian baggage?”

This conversation can’t go on. We both know it.
How do I explain in three minutes
why everything has been dead wrong
since the beginning?
Authority made of paper, strategy in vestments,
charity wearing sidearms, risen corpses,
virgin mothers, just armies…Damn the logic!

My baggage is her furniture; she lives
in my fire sale, serves tea every day in thin
blue porcelain cups that she imagines me
smashing one after the other
with arrogant clumsiness, tossing them into
the fearful darkness outside her parlor window.

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