top of page

Family of Random Churches

by Julene Tripp Weaver


Mother did not find me holy,

     Holy holy holy,

     Allen Ginsberg wrote.

He proclaimed our world holy—

to the asshole—a word

I never heard my mother use

till I rebelled—and she cursed me

with words I never knew she knew.


A church goer, she sought

peace of mind at a Baptist church—

     dunked, she insisted

     I get dunked, too,

her way to save me—my head

immersed, my hair ruined. No,

I said—enough—I was sprinkled

as a baby, at my father’s


Methodist church.

     Firm against her intrusion—

     I found my own church,

Congregationalist. I was never an easy

child, she said. Nothing smooth

between us. After Dad died

she gave up. Moved us

to her childhood home in the city,


let go her independence—

her driver’s license, swimming.

Unable to live alone—the same way

I need a partner. Avoidant, I resist

     love, push away anyone

     I need. Mother and I

never compatible, each buried

under pain—


we lost the love of our lives.

Paralyzed from a stroke

at a nursing home,

she settled into watching Fox

     became Fundamentalist.

     Our Holy war over.

Julene Tripp Weaver writes and has a psychotherapy practice in Seattle. She worked in AIDS services for twenty-one years. Her third collection, truth be bold—Serenading Life & Death in the Age of AIDS, was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award, and won the Bisexual Poetry Award. She is widely published, recent poems can be found in HEAL, Autumn Sky Poetry, Feels Blind Literary, and in the anthology Rumors Secrets & Lies: Poems About Pregnancy, Abortion & Choice.

[ back to archives ]

bottom of page