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Jesus Told Me I'm Just Fine
Charles P. Ries


I sat in the rear pew of The Parroquia, the grand church off
San Miguel Allendes city center called the Jardin. It was early
on Holy Thursday morning and the church was empty except
for the volunteers who were mopping the floor and dusting off
Jesus, who will be carried through the streets later that day on
the backs of twelve believers.
I was there to think, having argued with my brother the night
before over who loved our mother more. This is always a
delicate debate and unwinnable, unless complete and absolute
fidelity is declared to her memory. My love for her is deep,
but not so complete. My brother worries that the memoir I
am writing will not do justice to her memory. I tell him "Its
a fictionalized memoir. All memoirs live more in the authors
mind than reality," but he was very drunk and would not listen.
The youngest is often such a gate-keeper.
So there I sat, eyes closed, listening for some message from
God. I often pray in this way, having a "My Own Personal
Jesus" moment in which the supplicant (thats me), acts as if He
(God) is listening, pausing to consider my question, and then
stating, loudly and infallibly, (in my mind) the correct answer.
Im quite certain that many dictators, demigods, and serial killers
have used this same conversational technique with a wide and
surprising host of replies, but Im a simple man (today) and keep
my questions basic. "How am I doing, Jesus?" I think in my mind.
"Why, youre doing just fine." I hear His reply in a lexicon that is
surprisingly like my own (hes a very personal God).
I leave the church grateful to God for taking time out of His busy
schedule to speak to me, and continue my work of fictionalizing my past.


© by Charles P. Ries
Used with the author's permission.




Charles P. Ries lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His narrative poems, short stories, interviews, and poetry reviews have appeared in over two hundred print and electronic publications, and he is the author of a memoir, The Fathers We Find, and six books of poetry. Most recently, Charles was awarded the Wisconsin Regional Writers Association “Jade Ring” Award for humorous poetry. A founding member of the Lake Shore Surf Club, the oldest fresh water surfing club on the Great Lakes, Charles is the former poetry editor for Word Riot and a former member of the board at the Woodland Pattern Book Center. His work is archived at Marquette University and can be found at



Post New Comment:
Yes, you're doing just fine, Charles:) Judy
Posted 04/03/2015 10:15 AM
This is a great example of what a prose poem should be.
Posted 04/03/2015 09:30 AM
loved this! ~~~DorisBezio
Posted 04/03/2015 09:03 AM
fun and true poem!
Posted 04/03/2015 08:45 AM
"All memoirs live more in the author's mind than reality" How true and what a great poem. thank you.
Posted 04/03/2015 07:23 AM
Amazing poem, Charles. Tone, so perfect. I love the little things like the volunteers "dusting off Jesus."
Posted 04/03/2015 06:51 AM
This works so well, as a poem and as a wry, reflective piece. I enjoyed it very much. Thank you, Charles.
Posted 04/03/2015 06:36 AM
Fun lines: I tell him "It’s / a fictionalized memoir. All memoirs live more in the author’s / mind than reality," but he was very drunk and would not listen./ The youngest is often such a gate-keeper./
Posted 04/03/2015 12:58 AM
Such a good poem. I am not a religious person but this poem is so observant of human nature in every way . I shall re-read it often.
Posted 04/03/2015 12:49 AM
Charles' poem hit a special cord for me following a full day of Holy Thursday morning prayers, a devotional mini-pilgrimage to several different churches and participation in the Mass of the Lord's Supper at my parish. Although, I was surrounded with many others throughout the day I spent much time in solitude contemplation listening for the voice of Jesus (telling me I was doing alright.
Posted 04/02/2015 11:54 PM

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