Finding Redemption in Vinje, Iowa 

              Robin Throne


Only when it is Easter in this stone church on the hill

do they proclaim that sins are forgiven and I no longer

mourn at 4 a.m. amidst the bookshelves that tell me

the universe began elsewhere in a big bang

that foretold my future. Not this place that foretold my past.


Jesus loves you


I visit my mother's parents across the road

(a road named for where you are going, east or west)

in this cemetery carved from a homestead I once knew

where I wait for a Ford pickup half mile up the paved road

to speed by me, eyeballing my Norwegian flesh for roots.


You're not from around here


That generation sleeps here that built this altar and waits

like Moses for all their sons and daughters to join them.

Someone should tell them, Move on from here!

Hand me that acolyte's rook and let me extinguish the flame

at the end of our communion where we arise to share

bread and eggs at sunrise like surrogate families bound

by gravel and blizzards and coffee. 


Your sins are forgiven.  Go in peace.




Robin Throne is an Iowa native and lives in Le Claire, Iowa, along that great river we all share in some molecular form or another.  Her poetry, essays and reviews have been published in Sylvan Echo, The Daily Palette, Slipshot: A Journal of Literary Art, North Coast Review, Mankato Poetry Review, Iowa Woman, Minnesota River Review, Minnesota Women's Press, Minnesota Literature, The Corresponder, Connections and The Muse.