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January 2018, vol 13 no 4

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Gabriel Ertsgaard


The Stalin Park on Stalin Street holds the Stalin Museum – full of hagiography. But the schoolchildren don't go there anymore, taking instead excursions to older holy sites. The ancient churches honor Saint George, Mary, King Tamara ("she was king because she ruled") and above all, the triune God.

My students taught me as we stood before an icon – girls with heads covered – the proper way to cross myself. Now, though, I've forgotten their correct hand shape, and have fallen back into my Protestant habit of just flailing my arm and letting God figure it out.

melting snowflakes
brush my rigid jaw