Finding Redemption in Vinje, Iowa
when it is Easter in this stone church on the hill
they proclaim that sins are forgiven and I no longer
at 4 a.m. amidst the bookshelves that tell me
universe began elsewhere in a big bang
foretold my future. Not this place that foretold my past.
visit my mother's parents across the road
road named for where you are going, east or west)
this cemetery carved from a homestead I once knew
I wait for a Ford pickup half mile up the paved road
speed by me, eyeballing my Norwegian flesh for roots.
not from around here
generation sleeps here that built this altar and waits
Moses for all their sons and daughters to join them.
should tell them, Move on from here!
me that acolyte's rook and let me extinguish the flame
the end of our communion where we arise to share
and eggs at sunrise like surrogate families bound
gravel and blizzards and coffee.
Your sins are forgiven.
Go in peace.