Tradition

His body was given for me, he thought, kept hearing it over
and over while he watched the walk along the rail, flowing robes,
the human hand laying thin white wafers on eager tongues,
until he received it, too, that sponge soaking his mouth dry.

And then it was the blood again that had been shed for them.
His turn came and he sipped some from the golden goblet,
sloshed the Lord’s O negative around his mouth to try to wash
away the sticky body from the roof, teeth, and gums.

So now they’d all gone through it again, he thought, revolted,
participated as usual in the ritual cannibalization of their Savior,
the Son of God, yet he, the pastor’s son who rebelled
in all directions, followed his father to church each Sunday.

In the end, his father’s religion proved to be too thick a fog
to fight through, so he surrendered and became a minister too.

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