Poem-a-Day April 2018 Writer’s Digest Challenge #24. Theme: Roundelay

Dark sun

Christ the Lord

He lived by the Word and died by the sword
His childhood was private, His ministry, public
From a virgin he sprung,
pure as a virgin spring
His life was predestined for greatness–
a greatness and influence even death could not end

From a virgin he sprung,
pure as a virgin spring
A babe, a child, a man–He was all of these
An old man, a woman, a lover–He was none
His life was predestined for greatness–
a greatness and influence even death could not end

A babe, a child, a man–He was all of these
An old man, a woman, a lover–He was none
He was a fisher of men, a protector-gatherer of children,
a respecter of women, a hunter after God’s own heart
His life was predestined for greatness–
a greatness and influence even death could not end

He was a fisher of men, a protector-gatherer of children,
a respecter of women, a hunter after God’s own heart
He lived by the Word and died by the sword
His childhood was private, His ministry, public
His life was predestined for greatness–
a greatness and influence even death could not end

http://www.writersdigest.com/whats-new/2018-april-pad-challenge-day-24

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#Fiction Friday: #Micropoetry from the Book

Mormoni

Mrs. Hobson was a warm country kitchen
with strawberry rhubarb pies baking,
Mother, a slate gray living room,
minimalist in decor.

When I grieved not for the loss of the man,
but for the future I could’ve had with that man,
I knew my heart was healing.

Even as a prostitute’s currency was her sexual prowess,
my currency in the Mormon Church was my virginity—
a pearl of great price.

Because one had to be married to enter Heaven,
husbands & wives became one another’s saviors—
the gods & goddesses of their own worlds.

I had fought God’s fire with passion,
& lost,
but I hadn’t lost everything,
for David loved me more than God,
more than his own soul.

#Fiction Friday: #Novelines from the Book

Mormoni

My friends had jobs, boyfriends, cars. I began to want what they had, when before, David had always been enough.

“I would say forever, but good-bye is never forever in the Church. God be with you till we meet again in the celestial kingdom,” he said.

In Mother’s eyes, the Church was God. Nothing they would ever do & nothing I could ever say would sway her, for God had been re-created in their image.

Seven days had passed since I had received Elder Roberts’ letter, each day feeling like 1000 years, or “God” years.

The way Caitlin looked at Mr. Hobson just then was a way she had never looked at David—as a father.

The Hobson family had become part of the fabric of Green Haven, even as we had become the scraps that had been discarded.

I felt as if a whole new world was opening to me, for now that Mother had left mine, it left more room for other things, & other people.

In a few months, the Hobsons were very much a part of the town, whereas we were still finding our place in Green Haven, being “The Others.”

The space around Brad became my confessional, for Brad became my priest during those days when I believed Elder Roberts was gone from me forever.

As I began to be like other teenagers, David’s influence on me lessened. He was no longer the entirety of my world.

As the month drew closer to the Christmas holidays, without any word from Elder Roberts, I finally said good-bye in my heart to my Mormon soldier.

#Fiction Friday: #Micropoetry from the Book

Mormoni

Mother was Odile,
I, Odette—
the two-headed swan
Sister Wiley sought to split.

Maxwell Manor was too big to be called a house,
too quiet to be called a home.
It was The Waiting Place,
where David resided,
unchanging.

A bitterness,
hard & brittle,
began to form,
hardening my heart.
Elder Roberts had made his choice—
a choice that hadn’t included me.

As surely as God had brought Elder Roberts & I together,
his Church had torn us asunder.
I’d kept every commandment,
but broken all the rules.

Like Father de Bricassart with his Meggie,
Elder Roberts would love his Church more than me,
& give to it
what it would take from me.

The Mark of a Day

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It was last spring that I wrote “Hanging from the Family Tree” for poetry class, and a year ago that I read it to a group of students, professors, and faculty at a student poetry reading.

Not even two months ago, I’d already had two pieces picked out to read this evening–one serious, the other silly.

That changed a week ago.

*

Last year, I remember it being dark and cold, but this year, it was mild and sunny.  The weather seemed almost profane, in light of all that had transpired.

A part of me had wondered if it was too soon to read a poem about my mom, but I read it anyway, and I’m so very glad I did.

I’d struggled with the piece until after my mother’s funeral yesterday morning, and then, with that small measure of closure, the memories came tumbling out like the contents of a cornucopia.  I realized then that when someone is with us, we don’t go around thinking about them, but when they’re gone, we think about them to keep them near, for we fear forgetting even one of the thousand little details that made them, them.

*

So I asked God if He would grant Mom special permission to listen in tonight.  I sort of think that’s how it should work, because I don’t want my loved ones up there watching me to go to the bathroom, among other things.  (That might be quite embarrassing.)

I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to get through it without weeping, but I think when Q–the first poet of the night–opened with his piece about losing his mother, his story startingly parallel to my own, I shed the tears that were in store.

And what a blessing it was to be among friends that night–to share with them something of myself.

Student Poetry Night was a catharsis for me, for I believe every time we share a story of a loved one, it’s like they are right there with us, and that wherever they are in the heavens, they hear their name and know that they are missed.

#Fiction Friday: #Novelines from the Book

Mormoni

Multiple marriages had produced but one child for Sister Wiley–the fruit of which was bitter–for as that child grew, her mother only grew lovelier.

Sexual sin, in the LDS Church, was second only to murder, for it murdered innocence, marriages, & sometimes, the unborn.

Poverty, Obedience, & Chastity were Catholic vows, but Chastity was the greatest of these when becoming a Mormon.

Mother would become Laurie Dalton, & I, if it were possible, would become Katryn Dalton for him.

There would be no more His & Hers, but Ours. However, we would not blend, but remain separate—Caitlin, hers, & David, mine.

David’s painting of Mother’s likeness had been unclear, while the objects surrounding her had been clearly delineated. It was I who was real to him.

That Night I’d seen David leave Caitlin’s room looking troubled would have no significance until The Day Caitlin told me about it.

Mother had never taken a candid snapshot of us, but rather, all we had were professional portraits, her girls posed & poised, like porcelain dolls.

Caitlin & I looked like child brides in the photos, Mother, a little girl herself. To find the mother I could love, I’d have to go way back.

My father’s red hair & beard looked like burnished gold in the sun, his fair image a sharp contrast to David’s virile one.

Because Tony & Kath had partaken of the forbidden fruits the other offered, according to Mother, they were good for no one else now.

Mother & David were shopping together, when it had always been I who had accompanied him. I was getting him, only to lose him in another way.

David’s hands began to stroke Mother’s legs, worshipping them as if they were the horns of the golden calf.

#Fiction Friday: #Micropoetry from the Book

Mormoni

My ancestors had brought me to where I was,
even as my descendants would bring me the rest of the way,
for through temple work & perpetuating the gospel
through my future children,
I would save them all.

God spoke to His people
through dreams & visions,
His Word,
& every way indirectly,
through countless translations.

Something spoke to David through his paintings,
for every stroke did not conceal,
but revealed.

God was the Judge & Jury,
Jesus, the Defender,
the Holy Spirit, the Witness,
my own soul, the Prosecution.

Spirits lived amongst us—
holy & unholy,
familial & unfamiliar,
confusing & clarifying.
How was I to discern their agenda
when they all sounded the same?

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