KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 10: Fall 2018
Prose Poem: 203 words

Gemini Marks the First and Second Hour

by Linda Nemec Foster

In the huge brick church in Gdansk—just to the left of the main altar with its ornate triptych—you can see a medieval clock that marks the hours with the signs of the zodiac. My husband and I look like the Gemini twins who announce the first and second hour. Look, there we are holding hands and offering each other loaves of bread. At the center of the clock’s face is the sun, moon, and stars. Signs of the water bearer, ram, fish, and bull float around the clock as if in some imagined and pagan night sky: astrology holds center stage. Scorpio of my son, Leo of my daughter, Virgo of my mother, Libra of my father. Pre-Christian ritual tries to usurp the status quo. Where does one belief system go when another takes its place? Does it retreat underground or does it mark the hours near the high altar on the edge of the Baltic Sea? Even the Black Madonna, posing with her Son for the tourists, can’t answer the questions. She’s assigned a side chapel while another man and woman grow from the serpent’s tree in the Garden of Good and Evil.


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