Empowerment. Engagement. Authenticity.


Sunlight through stained-glass

Falls on congregations in wooden pews

Their heads bowed in silent reflection.

Choirs carol beneath polished crosses

All rejoice on Christmas Day.

My battered hymn book lays forgotten

I have learned all the words by heart.

Barefoot worshippers kneel

On tassled mats facing Mecca

And from turreted balconies

Arabic scripture read and sung

Praises Allah on a glorious Eid day.

My grandpa scripted the sermon

He offers now to bless a new year.

A myriad potted flames

Weave patterns in the night

From invisible bamboo perches:

Heralding Mother Lakshmi,

Welcoming Lord Rama home.

Woody incense tickles my nose

As pundits recite Divali prayers.

My parents taught me that faith

Does not mean choosing sides.

Mom read to me from the Koran,

Daddy told me stories of Jesus.

We listened to our friends impart

Lessons of the Bhagavad-Gita,

We thrived in a patchwork nation.

(c) Kristy Kassie, October 5, 2002

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