Undertaking Remedials
by Marilyn Braendeholm


photograph (c) Marilyn Braendeholm

I haven’t been here for a while, not since
I was a haughty teen and the priest said
we’d all go to hell no matter what path
we chose. What’s the point, I thought –
no matter what remedials I took, I was
headed for clouds of sulphurs
and an afterlife akin to a lit matchstick.
So anyway, as I was saying, or rather
writing since that’s what I’m doing,
I haven’t been here for a while, and I’m
not ashamed to say that I’ve rather missed
the old place. The smell of damp sandstone
that pinches at your nostrils, and those wooden
pews buffed to a miraculous shine, which
is what comes from 500-years of arses
swiping their way along its considerable
burnish length – slowly sliding in but
sliding out faster, fidgeting and squirming,
broad bums swish-swiping about and each
movement resurrecting a high gloss shine
on these leaf-carved planks of oak. Yes.
Much to my surprise, I’ve missed my
Sunday mornings at our old parish church.
Doubt that I’ll tell anyone that though;
might be a while ‘til I return again.


2 thoughts on “UNDERTAKING REMEDIALS, Marilyn Braendeholm

  1. Although not growing up….Anglican? Catholic? Episcopalian? (I can’t tell) I do remember feeling somewhat the same way growing up. I felt that I would never be good enough for God to accept me. It’s told to us that this isn’t the point, no one is worthy enough, and it’s by grace that we are saved, but instead of that being liberating, we end up being taught to focus on what separates from God rather than what can draw us closer. Such a shame, too, as the heights of human inspiration and adoration for God make themselves evidence in churches like this one. Thank you for reaching out and touching…in this case, me.


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