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  • Brian M Winningham

Searching for My Salvation

Stood up front and pledged my sacred oaths,

Testified to my personal beliefs and intentions.

Being young in my years but old in my hurt,

I lived through the visages of my inventions.


The cost of admission was to be dunked in a tank,

A trust-fall backwards into the arms of a holy man.

Rising up cleansed in my heart for all time, because

I had bathed in the warm, salty, blood of the Lamb.


Singing the same familiar old songs that we all love.

Lyrics instantly front of mind with the first pipe chord.

Singing lustily from the heart, eyes wet with feelings as

I ate the fruit of his body and drank the blood of our Lord.


Praise lifted up in discordant, punctuated, dis-harmony.

Tongues lit on fire, spitting a cacophony of dissonance.

With the rank, oppressive heat close as a dirty wool mask,

I raised my arms and swayed and stuttered and danced.


Lost in the Words we heard from the Alpha to the end,

Telling of floods, of famines, of wars, and of sons begotten,

Learning young all those parables, and fables and fairy tales,

I began to think the forbidden fruit we ate might be rotten.


Blessed by charlatans, while buttressed by demons, and

Hands laid-on me by bishops, and priests, and pastors.

Each touch eating away at my soul, bit by bit, until

I lost all faith, lost all heart, and lost all hope of any after.


The error wasn’t in seeking, or even in trying things out.

The blunder was in being a victim and blaming it on sin.

Lost, searching for my salvation across my whole life,

I focused on looking outside, instead of looking within.


Years and decades running, scared of the wrong things.

All the while ignoring the simple truth that sets me free,

Because no matter which mountain it is shouted from,

I am my own salvation, and my faith can only live in me.



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