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The Christening

Updated on September 8, 2010

The Christening

I walk through the wooden doors

towering, tall with large metal bolts

into the cold hollow entrance-way

surprised that the ceiling did not fall

and the altar still stands in the apse.

Neglecting to cross myself, I sit

and the cool careworn pew chills me

as I contemplate the Assumption

in stained windows framed by white marble.


Revival architecture

with American-gothic-mini-cathedral

sculpted stone and shaped cement pillars

reaching friezes below white arches.

Is the sacrilege worse in this place

than the warm wood of ours? This altar

must be cold, icy to the touch

of nervous skin, and christening hands.

I can’t imagine it cold.



© 2010


Some Muffling

I had a poetry teacher who said that muffling is what poets do to lead into their poems, and that it almost always takes away from the reader's experience of it. With that in mind, but still with a strong desire to muffle, i include this bit after the poem.

In the interest of stemming a tide of off-target comments, i want some things understood before comments are made. First, i am not the speaker of this poem, no sympathy or empathy needed. Second, it is not an anti-religion poem; it relates to a specific person and a specific experience.




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    • JayDeck profile image

      JayDeck 7 years ago from New Jersey

      Thank you so much for your very generous comments! I really appreciate when another poet takes the time to read, reflect, and share their opinion. I look forward to commenting on your work.


    • sligobay profile image

      sligobay 7 years ago from east of the equator

      Greetings JayDeck: I coincidently followed you on the forum and recommended your poetry in turn but have been reading more of your work. I am a new follower of your poetry, anyway. This poem is moving and tactile for me.

      Your metaphor intrigues me. The use of the word 'friezes'

      is cooler and more chilling than the many 'cool' references you employ. I can only surmise that the 'sacrilege' occurred "below white arches" where so many have been 'Christened';i.e. indoctrinated. I feel the icy hands on my own nervous skin. The temperature has dropped below freezing as I comment.

    • JayDeck profile image

      JayDeck 7 years ago from New Jersey

      Thank you very much! I am just delving into your work and am very impressed.


    • couturepopcafe profile image

      couturepopcafe 7 years ago

      Are you the author? Nicely done, Jersey boy. Also, never knew about muffling. I'll watch for it in mine.