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  • Hannah Cruz

I Lost My Faith In A Baptist Church

My mother still wears the perfume she wore to church 6 years ago.

It smells of the cheap pearls draped loosely around her neck

and car rides filled with silence that’s too sacred to be broken.

Our late arrival brought bickering from my father

about how fragile our reputation was here. The sapphire carpet

and stained glass windows of the man being worshiped

deflects my mind from my father’s redundant rage.

Whimsical polyphonic hymns and a mellow orchestra

permeate the chapel and I thank him for quickly changing

the melody that flooded my ears from a familiarly aggressive one

to an uncomfortably traditional one. Pastor Dave preaches

phoney lines of gratitude, playing God’s advocate but

he’s as treacherous as the fibs he proclaims. Still,

the golden offering tray was brought before us, begging for money

to be placed inside. Disbelief swept my mind as the hypocrite

that labeled us as “homeless” guilted us for money

we simply did not have.

Faith for a God that convinced me he wasn’t listening was lost

and my prayers proved to be pointless. My Sundays

are no longer spent in a place I was never welcomed in to begin with

and hymns that were once whimsical devastate my ears

like the shouting from my father I heard 6 years ago.

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