#Fiction Friday: #Micropoetry from the Book


Because Patrick was not,
David was,
& because I loved what David was,
I wondered if that made me a murderer
in my heart.

I was the result not of 2 people
who fell in love in passionate spontaneity,
but of 2 who were foreordained
to “take one another to spouse.”

When my father had passed away,
Mother’s faith had passed away,
& I had been brought up to go my own way.

I saw Elder Johnson as a brother,
Elder Roberts as a beloved–
as spoken in the Song of Solomon–
but the Sisters as anything but.

She had the body of a retired ballerina,
a toothpaste-commercial smile,
& an All-American youthfulness
that made her competition for me.

#Fiction Friday: #Novelines from the Book


The distinguished-looking man sat with the woman who would pull the thread that would help me come apart at the seams through an unholy act.

Sister Wiley wore a mask of syrupy sweetness, but the mask didn’t cover her eyes that emitted a cold, calculating glare.

Glancing in Sister Wiley’s direction I saw, as she looked at Mother, something that resembled fear, for Mother’s new faith overshone her old one.

Like the kapps Mennonite women wore, both sexes wore sacred garments under their clothes, where only God could see them.

Mother had never had any use for girlfriends before, & I wondered why she had let Sister Wiley choose to be hers.

I saw something in Elder Roberts then that I often saw in David: tolerance; but it would fail him when I needed it most.

Sister Wiley watched us from across the room, plucking a prune from a pewter platter & taking a bite, smiling that Mona Lisa smile.

David wanted me to go to University, but the Relief Society (or, as Caitlin said, the Sisterhood of the Raveling Dresses) had me rethinking such an endeavor.

The day our Little Miss stopped being a drama princess was the day we would know her personality had finally split.

I’d never seen our secular, nuclear family as isolated, but rather insulated from the world. The Mormons made me see that we were the world.

#Fiction Friday: #Micropoetry from the Book


Sister Grahame was the moderator
Sister Hatcher the observer
the elders, the participants—
all in an effort to socialize us into the Church.

Caitlin was 13 going on 17,
I was 18 going on 14.
I was sexually naive,
even as she was sexually savvy,
& it was, in this way,
I outpaced her.

When I accepted there might be a God,
I had all the answers I needed.
When I began to dabble in religion,
I was more confused than ever.

Though Mother was the solely converted,
we all changed by her changing.
The Mormons took her places
we weren’t sure we wanted to go.

Christ’s blood had been turned to water,
His body into leavened bread
that had been torn to pieces.

#Fiction Friday: #Micropoetry from the Book


Their culture was Norman Rockwell-ish,
their language, without offense,
their borders open to all who would
obey their commandments.

The genders were distinct—
from heads of home to hearts of home.
They were black-&-white about such things,
the world, 50 shades of grey.

The Mormons saw the family
as the foundation for salvation, whereas
I saw families as something invented
for the orderliness of civilization.

The Separation of Men & Women
was like the Separation of Church & State,
of Law & Medicine,
for in separateness,
there was no Equality.

Men were home teachers,
women, visiting teachers,
& every member was a missionary.
In Catholicism, you went to Church
& then you went home.

#Fiction Friday: #Micropoetry from the Book


To me, family was every kind of Heaven:
celestial, terrestrial, telestial.
The father, the sun,
mother, the moon,
children, the stars.

Mormon Heaven was one of progressing personhood,
Protestant Heaven, of angelic spirithood,
for we were perfected in Christ’s sainthood.

From Catholicism,
I learned that babies were in need of baptism.
From Mormonism,
I learned that it was the dead.

Mormon Heaven was not a state of mind,
but on a planet; God was not a spirit,
but a Deity of flesh & bone, who had been,
as we once were.

Mormons reached outside themselves;
we sought the answers amongst ourselves.
We were an island with walls,
& they were the whole damn world.

#Fiction Friday: #Micropoetry from the Book


Their culture was foreign to me—
with their big families, their big love,
their absolutes over theories.
They were so damn sure of themselves.

I’d never know just when it was
Elder Roberts fell in love with me,
but I’d know the exact second,
like a knot on a chain,
when it was he fell out.

I saw in Elder Roberts a longing
that mirrored my own.
However, the love I had for David,
would lose me the love I had sown.

Over gumbo & greens,
we broke cornbread with the elders.
They were our friends—
one would become family,
the other, an enemy.

A Catholic nun was seen as the highest thing
a woman could achieve,
in Mormonism, a stay-at-home mom.
Both required submission under a man.

#Fiction Friday: #Novelines from the Book


Elder Johnson lived life 100%, finding the extraordinary in the ordinary, like the little children Jesus spoke of.  The world was amazing to him.

The Mormon chapel was set back from the main road, tucked away in a subdivision where the doctors & lawyers of Green Haven lived.

There was no pastor, for everyone in the Church spoke, or gave talks rather than sermons; even the women, for it wasn’t a shame that they do so.

My eyes drifted around the austere room at the men in their suits & ties, the women in their modest dresses.  They looked positively godly.

David never understood how Christians could pretend to consume the flesh & blood of another human being, no matter how out-of-this-world He was.

Rather than guests visiting the Church, we were investigators visiting the ward–the evidence sought being a mysterious “burning in the bosom”.

Mormons began & ended each meeting with a prayer.  They prayed without ceasing, but always to Heavenly Father, never the Lord Jesus.

“The missionaries…well, it was as if they had found something wonderful, & wanted everyone to have what they had,” was Mother’s testimony.

Last hour, the men went to Priesthood, the women to Relief Society.  Being barred from the men’s class made her curious about what went on there.

The lesson was on food storage, & I wondered if this was where the urban legend had come from that Mormons hid food under their beds.

I knew the Mormons had once practiced polygamy, & even though they no longer practiced such on Earth, they did in their Heaven.