Grace Claire Przywara

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I Often Try to Soften Jesus

I often try to soften Jesus—
he who claims he came to set the world

ablaze, set like flint, burning, burning,
bearing a sword, a whip of chords,

spit and spite and sweating blood,
wrenching demons and setting free

men in their graves, plucking eyes,
gnashing teeth in torture, offering flesh

for feast. Withered figs and gathered vultures,
coming judgment, outer darkness—

woe to you, blind guides, blind fools!

I often try to soften Jesus—

if I’m honest, I fear the father-son resemblance
and the price of abundant life.

“I Often Try to Soften Jesus,” read by Grace Claire Przywara.

Grace Claire Przywara received an English degree from the University of South Carolina. Her poetry has appeared in Ekstasis Magazine, Amethyst Review, Kosmeo Magazine, and Rise Up Review, and has placed multiple years in contests hosted by human rights organization, Rehumanize International. Grace lives in South Carolina with her husband and two sons. She can be found at

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Artwork: Christus vertreibt die Wechsler aus dem Tempel (Christ Driving the Money Changers from the Temple) by Cecco del Caravaggio, 1610-15. Public Domain.

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