With my hair in a French roll,
Caitlin’s in a challah braid,
& Mother looking good enough to eat,
we could open a pastry shop—
with David as the butter
that made us all better.
The pastor’s house looked a mansion in God’s heaven—
this house of seven gables from which the seven fruits of the spirit
seemed to guard & fight against the seven devils
that sought to penetrate this fortress—
this home that looked even more imposing than it had in its spread
in Southern Belles & Whistles magazine.
The Taylors were the creamy pillars of the community,
spreading the Word of God like butter
on the white bread that fortified “Our Town.”
They had written their own vows,
going beyond what was necessary—
just like the Mormons with their
“for time and all eternity”
that one-upped what all other religions
offered in regards to marriage.
Though he had allowed himself
to walk into the waters of baptism,
he would never walk
through the doors of the temple.
She could have him in this life,
if only I could have him in the next.
For David’s joy alone,
I gave them my blessing.
I would do every good
under the sun
but never in the name of the Son.
Logline for Because of Mindy Wiley: An Irish-Catholic girl coming of age in the Deep South during the New Millennium finds her family splintered when two Mormon missionaries come to her door, their presence and promise unearthing long-buried family secrets, which lead to her excommunication and exile.