a grape is a berry – a poem by Jennifer Avignon

a grape is a berry

Are there holy grapes, is there holy ground, is anything here holy? – Annie Dillard

i’ve taken a lot of communion 
in a lot of traditions, watched my mother 
cut loaves into squares, or my aunts open
jugs of store-brand grape juice
for the blood of Christ. 
i notice the flouriness of pita, 
the way that wafers melt in my mouth, 
or the honey whole grain sweetness 
of the st. luke’s loaf. 
when i join a wine-drinking church, 
they ask me to keep them supplied, 
so i use my employee discount 
to pick up half a case at a time.
the vicar puts her hands on the bottles
that i carried in my backpack, 
next to my wallet and a carton of oat milk.
there is no moment i can see
when the holiness is added in
or set apart. holiness runs
alongside of the ordinary:
wine and coffee,
wafers and doughnuts.
whatever there is of holiness 
in communion is in the taking of it.

Jennifer Avignon (she/her) is a queer poet who lives in Seattle with her husband and lots of houseplants. She is currently enrolled in the MFA program at Seattle Pacific University. Her work appears in This Present Former Glory, Stepaway Magazine, and Beaver Magazine. https://www.jenniferavignon.com/

1 Comment

  1. Jenna Wysong Filbrun says:

    Beautiful. This poem brought a smile – especially the “store brand grape juice.” You nailed it. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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