There’s a box under my bed
gathering dust.
Piled inside are items
I no longer deal with:  church bulletins,
offering envelopes, choir music,
plus an album full of photos, synthesized
from memories in my brain:  rituals, candles,
robes, and pre-programmed prayers.

Organized religion is the box
that kept me caged within – a parrot
repeating words in empty imitations,
afraid to fly free toward the horizon,
stand at the edge of the world,
watch the sky turn golden,
feel the pull of light,
know God is bigger than a dusty box.

About Cherise Wyneken

Cherise Wyneken is a freelance writer, whose stories, poems, and articles have appeared in a variety of publications, two books of poetry, a memoir, “Round Trip: Reflections On My Life and Rebellion,” a novel, “Freddie,” a poetry chapbook,” Old Haunts,” PUDDING HOUSE PUBLICATIONS, and a new book, Stir-Fried Memories, at

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