Poem: Conversion Tactics by Mark Tulin

This poem was first published in The Magnolia Review. Featured image by Mark Tulin.

Conversion Tactics by Mark Tulin

The woman with the big white cross
that hung loosely from her breast 
kept reminding me of the power she possessed.

Here’s a free King James, she put forth
and highlighted a passage from Zechariah;
appearing forthright and sincere
when she sacrificed her soul 
for a box of Girl Scout cookies.

I wondered if religious strangers really care,
or are they more concerned with their place
in the spiritual hemisphere?

I told the woman that I had my allegiance,
although slightly different than hers.
It gave me the wisdom to know
that he’is the only deity for me.

Nonsense, she said, implying that I was misguided.
Everybody needs to hear the truth,
and not from those phony saviors
that advertise on billboards and ghetto walls.

We’ll dip you in holy water, she promised
and give you the full Monty of Hosts;
we’ll offer you a job in the parish 
and a free ride every Sunday to the church.

I appreciate your devotion, I said,
but your cross is too heavy for me to bear.
I’d rather carry my own hymn book
and practice my faith elsewhere.

I am an author, poet, humorist, and short story writer from Palm Springs, California. I write about various topics, from my early childhood in Philadelphia to my years as a family therapist and finally to my soul-searching in California. These are poetic narratives that may have humorous or serious content or both. Either way, I hope my poetry and stories resonate with you.

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