He’d never read to me Mother Goose
or Dr. Seuss,
but the Dead Poets,
& the works of a particular student of his–
who fancied herself a poetess.
We’d never seen puppets teaching shapes & colors
but musicals as bright as candy corn.
For our family tree was such that
if there were older generations left,
I could not see them through the leaves at the top—
where cobwebs had netted them together
through the shadows my mother had placed there.
The graven image of Moroni topped
Mormon temples like a wedding cake,
the interior of which were supposed to be like the
Celestial Kingdom of Heaven on Earth,
but my dream heaven was high on a mountaintop
where snowflakes fell in Spirograph-like creations,
or riding an elephant on a beach,
the sun at our backs,
or deep in the bayou under the Spanish moss
where the crawdads sang—
anywhere in nature,
where the words of the poets
were painted on the sky.
They all spoke on the Law of Chastity,
& you would think there was only one law to break
but to them,
breaking this law led to every other sin—
abortion, poverty, & eternal damnation.
The idea that God had once been
as we once were,
that He had been dust imbued
with the breath of life–
an inhabitant of another earth–
I wanted Him to have always been–