Testing Faith

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One Thursday, after therapy, mom buys ice cream
to ease the pain of overly maneuvered muscles.
I suffer my first of too many unwanted attempts to steal
one nine year old girl’s innocent belief
in her own perfection in the eyes of God
despite her wheelchair and permanent slouch.

I am 15 when I find faith again;
invited by high school friends one early Sunday morning
to this odd little whole-in-the-wall of a building
that looks like no church I’ve ever seen
and which I doubt God Himself would notice.

I weep in front of a congregation of mostly strangers,
becoming what they call “saved” that day.
Later, I was to learn
being born again didn’t suit me;
nor the values of the God I truly believed in.

I find faith after 9/11
along with the freedom and independence that
accompanied my first apartment;

I spend many Sundays
in a small, red, church, front room, discussing
non-violence with people of various faiths
or none at all.

These meetings are the closest thing
I get to the real services because of the paratransit schedule.
It’s hardly ideal; like eating peaches in lieu
of drinking actual water to prevent dehydration,
but they somehow manage to sustain me.

- Martina Robinson

© Martina Robinson

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