Around the rearview mirror of my car
There hangs a gonfalon of love divine.
My talisman, my bright and guiding star,
From which both fortitude and healing shine.
What is this mighty banner hanging down?
Not cross nor tassel, but the soft damask
That forms the flag by which my faith is flown:
The savior of my life, my virus mask.

©2021 – Paul Erlandson

gonfalon: A banner suspended from a crosspiece, especially as a standard in an ecclesiastical procession or as the ensign of a medieval Italian republic.



Paul Erlandson resides in Royal Oak Michigan, and has recently retired from an automotive engineering career with Ford Motor Company.  He has had poetry published in “Dome” (a publication of St. Paul’s Cathedral, London) and “The Slumbering Host”, a volume of poetry collected by Clinton Collister and Daniel Rattelle.

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10 Responses

  1. Jeff Kemper

    Delightful! The last three words took me by surprise. Very effective!

  2. Mike Bryant

    Paul, I’d never heard of a gonfalon… a consequence of my misspent youth, I suppose. The selected picture put me on the right track… which turned out to be the garden path you led me on… I loved the perfect twist. Welcome to SCP.

  3. Sally Cook

    You have the kind of humor that is so welcome here.
    Let’s see more!

  4. C.B. Anderson

    Very funny. The title reminds me of a word Kurt Vonnegut coined in Cat’s Cradle, namely “Granfalloon” (if I’ve spelled it correctly). It means a phony association of people, as opposed to a genuine association (“karass”).

  5. Paul Freeman

    Short, effective, and I’ve already gone back to the poem three times.

    Nicely done, Paul.

  6. Julian D. Woodruff

    Touche! (You mean you don’t wear a mask when you’re in your car?)

  7. David Watt

    Paul, I also learnt a new word from reading your poem. Well written, and with
    the bonus of humor.

  8. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    Paul, your poem is intriguing and witty while making a very valid point – a multi-layered marvel! Welcome to SCP.


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