The Sunday of Orthodoxy in Missoula

Two and a half hours of my first Orthodox service

A procession of icons around the church

“I don’t recommend high heels,” the priest says

We press through snow pack and pass icicles thick as beets

Somali toddlers weave between our legs

Eleven languages spoken for the Lord’s prayer

And men wearing Carhartts sing in Greek

Someone named Ray teaches me the peace

“Let’s try that one more time,” when I simply squeeze his hand

To share his gaze. He pulls me toward him, kissing cheek to cheek.

“There. Much better,” he smiles. And, so I know what to do

When the priest comes my way

So, it seems fitting to bake bread for the remaining day

Focaccia with salt and fresh rosemary

But my belly fills as I knead

The more I knead, the more I knead

But then, there is desire

Not for a meal, comfort, love

No, to be


Like the clods placed in each palm

At the very end (finally, I am granted)

I had wondered about the taste

Of what looked like angel food during communion

Men, women, children popping the white fluff

Into their mouths on their way back to a pew

Sneaking a treat

And then the wild eyes and hair of John the Forerunner

His body clothed in blue feathers, leaves, animals?

I want to hike with that man

“We are icons of Christ,” the priest says

May my body feed you, I say to the river as I rush home

But even then, I don’t know what those words mean

Only the bread cooling on a wire rack

2 thoughts on “The Sunday of Orthodoxy in Missoula

  1. Beautiful , you are an icon for Christ indeed

    The Rev. Joanna Seibert M D Deacon, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church Little Rock, Arkansas



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