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The Holy Bible, Appendix B


Faithful disciples of the Bread of Life Church

arrive to deliver the good word.

Today, the men have brought their wives and children

lined strollers along the curb

in front of the women’s clinic

hung signs bearing images of bloody fetuses

around the necks of their five-year-olds

whose jackets look too thin for the cold.

The Holy Bible says

we are to love our neighbor perfectly

and Democrats are dividing us

confusing God’s plan

making women think that this is about health care.

Heads nod, hands clap

and my co-escort rubs her eyes.

I watch the women with their children

remember the book of Bible stories

my mother read me before bed

the illustration of Jonah in the whale’s belly

I can’t remember

how he survived being swallowed whole. . .

One of the mothers whispers in her child’s ear

points at the clinic door

and when the next patient approaches

the child runs up to her

wraps his little body around her legs

begs, “Please don’t kill me!”


To love God perfectly

is the sum of His commandments.


"As We Gather" - Ellen Langford 

As if

an apology puts hurt to rest,

   water sprayed over a forest fire

   still leaves scorched earth,

we paint the walls cottage white,

   deny the blood that eventually

   seeps through.


Christine Taylor, a multiracial English teacher and librarian, resides in her hometown Plainfield, New Jersey.  She is the haibun editor at OPEN:  Journal of Arts & Letters.  Her work appears in Modern Haiku, Glass:  A Journal of Poetry, Room, and The Rumpus among others. She can be found at Follow her on Twitter @cetaylorplfd.

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