Vocabulary Poem: Rhipidion
Before there was MetLife, and back past Providian
Some Byzantine genius devised the rhipidion
As a sort of insurance for Orthodox guys
To keep Jesus' blood unpolluted by flies.
But that wasn't all! Once the fan became known,
Then some other inventors built things of their own:
Like the gagulon rex--a small chisel and mallet
To chip bits of the Host that get stuck to one's palate;
Or the vellux--a cloth stuffed with small bits of cheeses
To capture the wine if some supplicant sneezes;
From the cermyl, a corn-floured, gluten-free Host,
To the etnoi--a cooker for Holy Host toast--
They kept adding--The nouon, the quimmel, the jeltz--
Until Orthodox priests had utility belts!
But through some clumsy mix of tradition and luck,
It seems only the simple rhipidion stuck.
(P.S.--It's just me now, but I wish instead
They'd invented good wine and some tastier bread.)