#Fiction Friday: #Micropoetry from the Book

Mormoni

Mother had become an entity—
a Thing to Be.
Her properties were fine,
her features, refined,
but as much as I tried to pour myself
into her mold,
I would not come out quite right,
for she was made of the right stuff.

The Mennonite women had their kapps,
the Pentecostals, their long skirts,
but the Mormons had their garments—
the men & the women.
There was total fashion equality.

Catholicism was built on tradition—
an ageless woman bedecked with jewels,
her robe stained glass—
a fragile coat of many colors.

They fasted to strengthen their resistance to the flesh,
but ate to strengthen & nourish their bodies.
They got an education not just to be prosperous,
but to be more like the God who knew it all.

I had been taught scripture for educational purposes;
now I learned it for a spiritual purpose,
for knowledge was the glory that was God.

Advertisements

#Fiction Friday: #Novelines from the Book

mormoni

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: #Novelines from the Book

mormoni

She turned to me, but I wasn’t prepared for the bombshell she was about to drop. “You see, I met David the day before I was to be married.”

“When your father moved us here, I thought we had lost David, but he found us. He always found us. I could never run away from his love.”

“I didn’t know David until it was too late,” Mother was saying, though I was only half-listening, uncomprehending, unprepared.

I ran to the sidewalk where Caitlin stood, the balmy breeze blowing her paisley skirt around her knees. It was finished.

I felt about Sundays like the servants of Polly Harrington’s had. I hated them, though instead of a sour stomach, they gave me a migraine.

Every Sunday was St. Patrick’s Day for us until the day Mother decided to give it back to God who had been, as David, waiting patiently for her.

Lancaster County—where we hadn’t been back since the day we’d left our Amish & Mennonite friends, never to hear from them again.

Mother canonized Patrick long ago, even as my sister prayed to him like a Saint. As for me, I had deified David, so I had no use for the dead.

David left us every Saturday evening, not to return till sundown Sunday; those hours were for mourning Patrick, or St. Patrick’s Sabbath Day.

Knowing that Mother had known David before she married my father made me wonder just when it was she fell in love with him.

Mother’s talk of betrothals & marrying my father out of honor seemed archaic & passionless to me.