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Realization

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He writes in this daily devotional
that his mother had to work assembling
heaters to support her four children
and consoled herself on weekends
by getting drunk and used
a leather belt as punishment when
they left a chore undone or
argued with each other.

And that one day, sitting in a cold,
grey cement‐block cell he read
about Jesus dying on the cross
and realized that meant God had
set him free from the hurts done to him
and the hurts he’d done to others
which is a leap of faith I find
simplistic, conceptually crude,

maybe because my mother was
not a drunk and did not beat me
and I never sat in jail which is to
say I suddenly see I am close kin
to the Pharisee who stood
in the temple proudly pouring
into God’s ears the details of his
impressive religious resumé.

Ken Gibble lives in Camp Hill, Pa.

Posted in: June/July 2016: Almost Quaker, Poetry

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