With her Snow-White features,
every man wanted Leann,
& there was a part of me who wished that I could be
a Rapunzel with Samson-powered hair,
the one who would usurp her power
by being the fairest of them all,
for I had been served a poisoned apple–
the apple of false prophecy.
I had not consumed it,
but my mother had,
& it was as if I had been in her womb
when it had broken through the placental barrier.
The poison from the pome
had been good for Mother
but not for me.
At St. Mary’s,
a sculpture depicting a broken, bloodied Christ
was suspended at the front of the abbey,
while at Green Haven Ward,
a painting of a perfected Christ
hung in the foyer off to the side.
too dogmatic to be mere denominations,
had their men in charge:
the Pope & the Prophet—
old, white men—
who could speak in His Name.
Though we were surrounded by people,
we were the only 2 people in our world.
I sensed a change in my & David’s relationship,
but I could not define it.
It had matured somehow.
I was no longer his stepdaughter—
I was his equal.
Diamonds paired with white,
pearls, with black,
but David looked equally good,
whether he was with Mother
or with me.
I didn’t wear jeans & tennis shoes
but dressed as Princess Kate,
the Duchess of Cambridge would,
many years hence.
I had seen myself as royalty then,
or maybe it was because David
had always treated me as such.
David’s scent was incense to my soul,
an icon of hope
that there was still good in this world
that the Mormons saw as merely a blip in time–
not to enjoyed for its own sake
but to be preparing for the next life,
for their motto was not “enjoying till the end”
but “enduring to the end.”