Christine Strevinsky
2011 Kentucky Senior Poet Laureate

Christine Strevinsky, 79, of Shepherdsville, is a retired assistant English professor, novelist and poet. This is her second succesive year as Kentucky Senior Poet Laureate. She was born in Poland, grew up under the Nazi regime, and did not speak English until age 18. She came to the United States in 1949 and entered college at age 45, prior to which she was a sausage stuffer, welder, punch press operator, waitress, solderer, wirerer and mother of two sons and a daughter. Christine taught English to the native-born. Her sun sign is Capricorn.

Here a Church, There a Church
Everywhere a Church Church

Stand at any intersection in this town
point in any direction
there's a church within two blocks
steepled or not
stained glass-windowed or plain
Catholic Methodist Baptist
Pentecostal Evangelical
Holy Ghost of Holy Lentil

you'd think holiness
would be prevalent
amid the population
so dedicated to raising
so many
houses of worship
three per capita
I heard said

Reverend Jimmy John
pontificates upon the Sermon on the Mount
within minutes of dismounting
Sally Pruitt's mound
Father McNaughty extorts sinners
to mend their ways
as he contemplates what went down
with little Dickie Pucker
behind the sacristy door

the only saints around here are
old man Smith whose tongue
could peel paint off a '56 Buick
but who a dozen times each day
tenderly cleans
his wife's withered rear
and old Aunty Ella
of the wild hair and bunions
who nursed the dog she found
after someone hacked off his tail.

Christine Strevinsky