Carol Muske-Dukes





 Come to Jesus, yes, yes!

 But only if you are willing to

 Be that funny  god-like guy.


 Don't come to the ones

 Who point the fingers, who cast

 The stones, who lack humor,

 Who "missionary" those who should


 Be saving them.  Every day is Valentine's 

 Day in my Church. Every day is a day to

 Believe in The Heart. Every day is a day

 To annoy and please the world with poetry.


 Old St. Valentine tried to save Romance --

 But better than passion is day-by-day --

 The hug in the doorway -- the hug in the

 Sacristy of the Real Church: the kitchen,


 The backyard, the late-night argument

 In bed. O my children, join the Church,

 the church of No-Church -- poets, painters,

 anarchists, trouble-makers, loud women,

 thoughtful men, genius animals (dogs, cats--)


  Come to church -- the Great Dog is preparing

  His sermon, the Pope Cat is looking on --

  All of the birds are offering you their blessing!






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"Effortlessly, the narrator's story here becomes one with the stories of the women in prison. Rarely do we encounter a perspective clear as glass through which the characters look back at the narrator without mirror or microscope, false hierarchy or romanticizing. Brava!"

-- Toni Morrison