*Fiction Friday: Micropoetry Based on the Book

Mother’s wedding gown was a modest one,
with long sleeves & white lace that crawled up her throat,
making her swanlike neck seem longer,
even as the cut of the bodice
made her bosom seem almost invisible.
She looked like a bride around the turn-of-the-century;
the next century was coming in a couple of months,
& the New Millennium would usher in her new life as David’s wife,
which would place me,
having come of age,
as something between a stepdaughter
& something that defied definition.

As I gazed upon my mother in her bridal finery,
she turned to me & said,
“Someday, it’ll be you, Katryn,
& your young man will be able to take you to the temple.
Keep yourself worthy of him,
so when that time comes, you’ll be ready.”
She had turned back to the mirror then,
admiring herself,
reminding me of Snow White’s stepmother,
reassuring herself that she was, indeed—
with her eyes like dark chocolate Doves—
the fairest of Mormonland,
while I thought how much more loving it would have been
had she said,
Find a man worthy of you,
for it was something David would have said.

Mother’s bridal shower was held at seven p.m.,
or seven-fifteen, Mormon Standard Time,
with Sister Wiley as the mistress of a ceremony
that Donna found sexist,
as men weren’t allowed.
True equality, for Donna, was that men be as miserable
coming to these things as the women who came to them.
Sister Kyle handed everyone a safety pin as they came in,
while Sister Grahame helped Sister Wiley in the kitchen,
thrice saying Sister Wiley was the best cook in the ward.
These servants of the Lord
now served the sisters of the ward,
who trickled through the door like queen bees
with their Southern lilts that dripped with honey
& whose stingers sometimes came out at these things.

My eyes traveled around the room,
settling on each individual:
There was Sister Schafer,
pink elephants dangling from her ears,
as she worked for the local Republican party
& was a true blue, red-state conservative.
“A Christian Democrat is an oxymoron,”
was her campaign slogan for the Lord,
to which I knew Mother would have taken offense,
for David believed that even though capitalism
made a few rich,
it was liberalism that kept the many
from being poor.

A bridal shower in the Mormon Church
was like a G-rated bachelorette party,
where no man in a cop or firefighter uniform
would be showing up to remove it.
Donna had come for the free meal,
& had certainly not come
for the company of a henhouse,
where feathers often got ruffled
over the slightest slight,
without a rooster in sight.

Logline for Because of Mindy Wiley An Irish-Catholic girl coming of age in the Deep South during the New Millennium finds her family splintered when two Mormon missionaries come to her door, their presence and promise unearthing long-buried family secrets, which lead to her excommunication and exile.

Election Day

Since coming of legal age,
she had voted her conscience,
though this time,
she knew it wasn’t so important that others knew
why she voted the way she did,
but that she knew why,
& she needed to justify to no one of her reasons,
which were her own.
In remembrance of a life well-lived,
she recalled her grandpa’s words
when someone had asked who he was voting for,
& he had said,
without apology & without hesitation,
“None of your damn business.”
She realized then
that just as everyone had a right to their opinion,
no one had a right to hers.

Sweet Little Nothings

Inhale the future chocolate

When she’d been LDS—
a Molly Mormon on the outside
& some kind of nondenominational,
free-spirited Christian on the inside—
she’d had friends, good & plenty,
but when she’d lost her testimony
of Joseph Smith
& returned to her Protestant roots,
she reclaimed her creativity.
When she went back to school
at a liberal arts college,
where she was often
the red elephant in a room
full of donkeys
in varying shades of blue,
she realized that the life she was living
wasn’t a remake
but rather,
a sequel.

The Speechwriter

Her view of herself was such
that she felt most comfortable
when she stood behind
her words.
His view of himself was such
that he felt most comfortable
when everyone stood in front
to hear him speak those words.
She felt like a silent ventriloquist,
a Wizard of Oz who made
the dummy come alive,
even as he felt like he was
the ideal receptacle
for such pep rally rah-rahing
that made them believe that if he won,
they all won.

Rebel of a Lost Cause

When Lily Bedletter ran for political office,
her private life was made public—
her divorce,
her bankruptcy,
her emotionally-Facebook posts—
even the two black eyes
she’d given Susan So-and-So
way back in third grade.
The voters made their judgements—
not by casting stones at her,
but by casting ballots against her,
for they knew so much less
about her opponent,
and the less they knew,
the less they could dislike.

Micropoetry Monday: Things We Set On Fire

She blurred him from every record,
burned every photograph,
the ink dripping off the page,
mixing with the ashes at her feet,
but it wasn’t till he returned to the earth
in a pile of dust,
that she was able to breathe it all back in.

One man discusses climate change,
the other, pro-life policies.
Two futures—imminent & distant—
the former, having affected his ancestors,
the latter, his descendants.

It was a book of drunken incest,
& admonitions for slaves
to obey their cruel taskmasters.
There was the genocide of children–
rainbow promises that never again
would God destroy the earth with a flood,
but rather,
with every other thing.
It was the story of a jealous God,
a God who played favorites,
but a God who sent His Son–
a better version of Himself.

For here lies the Morgan family memorial–
the Morgans,
who lived together by choice,
who died together from having that choice
taken away,
& whose ashes,
in the same vessel,
were scattered–
death imitating itself.

When they lost their wealth,
they softened their conservative values,
for to accept help long enough
was more important than making
what was already hard,
harder than it had to be.

Micropoetry Monday: Opposites

Opposites

The Shutterfly edition

He was fact,
she was fiction,
& together,
they founded journalism.

For her, every day was a holiday;
for him, every day, a holy day,
but as they grew closer to each other,
they became what they were meant to be.

She was left brain,
he was right brain,
so when they worked together,
they knew not what the other did.

He wore his politics on his car,
she wore her religion around her neck,
& each believed one should trump the other,
but the wise saw the two were Siamese twins,
joined at the heart.

She was retro,
he was vintage,
& together,
they created a new modern.

A Certain Kind of Congress

She was a natural blonde,
unnaturally stacked;
he was naturally white,
unnaturally tanned.
Kenny and Barb,
from the South Side
of Malibu Heights,
found themselves
in a minority’s plight.
So they moved to the
Capitol Dollhouse,
where the Hobbyists,
like the hands of giants—
played The People’s servants,
only to help them become the served.