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Janna Schledorn

Honorable Mention: 2016 Utmost Christian Poetry Contest $100

About this Poet:
I thank God that he has provided a way for me to communicate with him and about him through poetry. He has also blessed me with an understanding husband, two fun grown daughters and enjoyable work.

About this Poem:
This poem began with an image—early every morning on my way to work I watched a man in a white robe enter his church; a longing—I was missing the rituals of the church of my youth; and an idea—I was reading the excellent book, Men and Women in the Church: Building Consensus on Christian Leadership, by Sarah Sumner.

Mother Church

No one needs a patriarchy
when she’s sick.
But she needs something –
tilting on the edge of the abyss,
toying with the thin thread
that winds
all the way back to God.

Don’t cut her off
from the line of white-robed priests
and monks and martyrs and saints,
apostles and teachers,
and oh! the nuns,
the women who still
gather at the entrance
to the tomb, ready
with spices and perfume
and strips of linen
to wrap our sorrow.

No, when she’s sick
and weightless,
she craves someone’s thumb
on her forehead
pressing ashes and
oil dripping down.

She wants an open hand
holding the circled pieces
of bread broken and
multiplied for
five thousand needs.

She longs for the outstretched chalice
spilling fruit of the vine
on her parched lips,
the mingling of her
brother’s blood,
Christ in her.

Copyright ©2016 Janna Schledorn