#Fiction Friday: #Micropoetry from the Book

mormoni

For I learned of Mother’s life
by traveling backwards in time,
& with each trip,
the chasm between us grew wider,
so that she seemed so far removed from me.

Because Mother had been told her future,
her present had shaped it to fit the prediction—
the one that would put her at enmity with her daughter.

Their heaven was better than Baptist heaven,
their marriage, better than Methodist marriage,
for lovemaking did not end with earthly bodies,
but surpassed the thunder in the sky.

At the early morning hour,
Mother separated herself from her husband
by separating him from his life;
at the early evening hour,
she would civilly marry another man,
a man to whom she would be sealed celestially.

David had loved Mother for longer
than my father had known her,
honored her wishes by voicing not his own,
& cherished her as he cherished those
who came from her.

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Poem-a-Day April 2019 Writer’s Digest Challenge #18. Theme: Little (Blank) #aprpad

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Little Memories

It was last night
that I read the last work
that would be published
in my alma mater’s literary journal.
Brian and Hannah had joined me–
along with my dad and grandmother
who we call Bernadean
because she’s not all “grammy-like.”
My English and Communications friends were there,
my old college newspaper friends–
except for the ones who’d graduated and moved on–
were there to cover the event
in the room where my daughter saw
trapezoids and triangles in the ceiling.
I’d worn my new little black dress—
well, let’s be real,
not little—
but it showed the shoulders
I had been expected to cover
in my past life as a Mormon.
My daughter was showing off or rather,
I was showing off my daughter in her new bob
that makes her look like Scout Finch
and white dress with the red ribbon straps
that kept slipping down.
Still better her have a wardrobe malfunction than me.
My dad and grandmother were late
but just in time to see one of the artists’ photographs
of his topless girlfriend projected on the screen
and for Dad to hear one of the poets use the f-word,
which I knew he would complain about later.
I break out in hives all over my chest when I read,
but I chose to ignore them,
for that was better than sweating profusely.
Hives don’t give you B.O.
There were “decadent desserts”
with all different toppings;
I wasn’t fooled,
for they were all brownie bites
but “elevated” as the TV chefs would say.
I was asked for a quote by the kid
who only wanted to write reviews
because he just enjoys writing his opinions.
Yes, I tell him, I really am obsessed with Mother Goose
(and, off the record, ablaut reduplication).
Hannah got to watch and listen to one of the artists play his guitar.
Everyone was so kind.
The event was held in a room off the art gallery on campus,
and we saw a man’s bust made of pennies,
which made me think that Mike Brady’s head
wouldn’t have shattered had it been made of change.
I still had to make cornbread
(hoecakes were too much work–
I couldn’t just shove them in the oven
and forget about them for a half hour)
for a “Cooking on a Dime” event at work tomorrow—
the college where I work because I loved it so much,
I didn’t want to leave.
We got our Easter ham,
and then Dad wanted to take us out
for half-priced milkshakes after 8 at Sonic.
Tons of kids were there for the same reason.
I had to lend Hannah my white sweater wrap
and make her look like an old lady in a shawl.
I got chocolate
but without malt,
what good is it?
I gave Hannah my cherry,
and Dad gave me his.
We joked about how Mom
who doesn’t live on Earth anymore
would embarrass my brother
by asking for “thick shakes” and “hot fries”
because damn it,
she was paying good money for this crap.
It’s nice to be able to talk about her without crying.
And then we go to our homes,
me to mine,
where I read Green Eggs and Ham,
and I told this little girl with the big blue eyes
that until I met her dad,
mushrooms had been my Green Eggs and Ham
when he fried them like we do everything here.
Right then and wherever there was,
I fell in love with fungi candy.
And I write all this now
while it’s still fresh
because new memories are constantly being made,
and I don’t want to lose this one.

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https://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/poetic-asides/2019-april-pad-challenge-day-18

#Fiction Friday: #Micropoetry from the Book

mormoni

For she’d become the Grim Reaper,
the Angel of Death.
She was the devil in disguise,
beguiling in her beauty,
the ashes of which had tainted
everything.

For David would do my father’s work in the temple,
becoming Patrick’s savior by proxy.
My godlike David would giveth Patrick the key to heaven,
even as he taketh the key to my mother’s heart.

David was my guardian angel,
a mortal who had appointed himself
to watch over me,
to exemplify the love Christ had for His children,
to shield from me the lack of maternal love.

The Mormon temple was tainted now,
for blood poured from its doors—
the lifeblood from the man who had sired me.
It seeped into every piece of fabric,
splattered on every wall
like a crime scene
that could never be washed away.

David had sinned in the name of my mother,
& so I turned Mother into a Christ of convenience,
placing his sins on her,
so that he stood blameless before me.

#Fiction Friday: #Novelines from the Book

mormoni

I grieved for the father who had never been lost to me at all—the father I was just now finding, only to lose him all over again.

…for my father believed once death claimed us, we became as angels in Heaven.  The terrestrial kingdom will be everything he always believed Heaven would be.

Mother prayed Caitlin wouldn’t leave this earth till she accepted the gospel & I knew if God answered her prayer, our Little Miss would live forever.

I asked my father in his vegetative state, so close to the Divine, to accept the gospel in the next life, so that he & my mother would inherit the celestial kingdom, even as David & I would the terrestrial.

The sound of Mother’s heels on the hospital tile sounded like the drumbeats my heart was making as I made a deal with a dead man.

The words to “I Know that My Redeemer Lives” came to me; even as they played through my mind, it was David’s face I saw, brighter than sunlight. 

Mother leaned over to kiss my father’s forehead—a holy kiss, a kiss of death—bestowing upon him her blessing to proceed into the next life.

Through the glass clearly, lined like graph paper, David & I watched my father as he slipped into eternal slumber; it was like watching a live execution.

I felt there was more to the story.  Always, I would feel this way. 

I grieved for the father who had never been lost to me at all—the father I was just now finding, only to lose him all over again.

…for my father believed once death claimed us, we became as angels in Heaven.  The terrestrial kingdom will be everything he always believed Heaven would be.

Mother prayed Caitlin wouldn’t leave this earth till she accepted the gospel & I knew if God answered her prayer, our Little Miss would live forever.

I asked my father in his vegetative state, so close to the Divine, to accept the gospel in the next life, so that he & my mother would inherit the celestial kingdom, even as David & I would the terrestrial.

I ran from what had become my life, to the man that was my whole life.

#Fiction Friday: #Micropoetry from the Book

mormoni

I was to be sealed to Mother & David,
only to be sealed to another man someday.
We were linked not individually by God,
but as units,
linked to one another by His authority.

I hadn’t been touched by an angel,
but by earthly messengers,
if not their message.
Yet, was it not that message
that had shaped them
into the angels they were?

Every night,
Mother prayed that God would keep Caitlin
Alive long enough to accept the gospel,
& my heart was joyful,
for she would live forever,
as Mother’s mustard seed faith
filled an entire jar.

My life could be seen in terms of insurance:
Mother was term life,
having expired long ago,
but David—
I would pay for him my entire life.

We stood on the outside,
looking in,
sharing a life
while witnessing a death.
Our reflections looked like
lost souls,
found in one another.

#Fiction Friday: #Novelines from the Book

mormoni

I grieved for the father who had never been lost to me at all—the father I was just now finding, only to lose him all over again.

My mother had not charmed a snake, but rather, she’d beguiled an Eve in male form—a man who’d taken a bite of the apple that hadn’t given him knowledge, but rather, diminished it.

For the first time in my life, I prayed for my father to wake up & save Mother from David, so he would be saved for me.

A Church talk had freed my mother from the guilt she carried over my father’s attempted suicide, even as it would free my father from the medical technology that had kept him in limbo.

For neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, could separate David from Mother, save Mother herself.

Into my father’s ear, I whispered for him to accept the gospel in the next life, so that David would be dethroned as Mother’s eternal companion.

As my father was taken off life support, I wondered if his soul was finally leaving his body, having been imprisoned in 13 years of solitude.

I would learn that my mother had visited my father in the hospital until David had rescued her from a life of single motherhood & lonely widowhood.

#Fiction Friday: #Micropoetry from the Book

mormoni

I’d idolized David,
for I’d been as Mary Magdalene—
seeing my salvation in the form
of a man who spoke not in parables
of the everyday man,
but in the philosophies of the enlightened man.

Like most women,
I blamed the woman—
my mother—
for her adulterous affair
with the man I loved.
She was the seducer,
& he,
the charmed participant
under her hypnosis.

For Christians, the Bible was the once upon a time,
the happily ever after.
For Mormons, it was only the story of God’s reign as God,
the story of this earth—the planet He had created,
a planet that belonged to him only because He had earned it.

The words of this modern Prophet with the middle initial
were underlined,
like scripture—
words that had become like newsprint
left on the sidewalk in the rain.

While he lived,
my father had been a stranger to me,
but as he lay dying,
& I beheld my co-creator;
I experienced an intimacy for him,
if not with him,
for the first time.