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(c) Q
(c) Q

Somewhere in Amish country—York, perhaps—
a chalice and patten of local clay
glazed in soft Loden green.

What would you ever do with it?
she asked. Home communion.
Can you do that? I mean, not at church….
Why not?
      Why not, indeed?
Return it to its source, where for centuries
custom preserved it, with priest or without.

I hold the cup a moment more,
sensing beneath its glossy skin
that gritty elemental touch of clay—
a disciple would have drunk from this
if not from a plainer one—
rough clay unadorned,
washed with cups and plates
as humble as itself, used for water
or small beer or ordinary wine,
used again with a simple plate
filled with homemade bread
served around a battered table
by rough, unjeweled hands.

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