#Fiction Friday: #Micropoetry from the Book

mormoni

Because Jesus had paid for my sins,
I could not short the Lord–
I had to pay Him back through tithing,
through prayer & scripture study,
through keeping His commandments,
& through good works that surpassed any good
that had ever been done to me.
There was no question that I would pay;
the only question was: Gross or net?

If my answer was different than theirs,
I wasn’t praying in the right spirit,
so I let them believe my conversion was to their Church
& not to their version of the God they claimed to serve.

God’s favor wavered–
the God who wasn’t always fair
but just,
as many Christians claimed.
It would take me many years to realize
that I was glad God that wasn’t fair,
for if He was,
then I would’ve had no place with Him
in the afterlife
for all the misdeeds I’d done.
It wasn’t fair that Jesus had to die,
but God had let Him know that it was the only way
so that Jesus had no choice,
for what was autonomy when you could only escape
the sting of death
by letting everyone else burn in hell forever?

The Word of Wisdom
was not the word of the wise.
It was an admonition to abstain from strong drink–
hot drinks & alcohol–
but fried food & all the chocolate cake you could eat
was just dandy.

I lived the law of chastity,
& that seemed the greatest law of all,
but it was through default
& not being devout
that I was still a virgin,
for just being with David
in a non-Biblical way
had always been enough;
he had kept me pure.

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#Fiction Friday: #Micropoetry from the Book

Mormoni

Some had their purity rings,
others, their purity balls,
& the Mormons–
the recommends to their temples.

The faithful would become gods,
not angels.
They would have sex,
not be sexless.
They would have children,
not be childless.

I was Katryn Nolan—
who only knew who she wanted,
not who she wanted to be
or what she wanted to do
with herself,
for herself was all she knew.

The Church had not built a bridge,
but rather a wall
between my mother & me,
which would eventually be the wall
that burned the bridge.

Mother was the lady,
Caitlin, a girl,
but I—I was a virgin
on the verge.

#Fiction Friday: #Micropoetry from the Book

Mormoni

Elder Roberts was like Scarlett’s Ashley Wilkes,
the Church, his Melanie Hamilton.
Brad was my reluctant Rhett,
& David, the uninvited guest
who crashed the barbecue at Twelve Oaks.

As I listened to Christmas carols on the radio
or rather,
holiday songs,
being they were all about reindeer & snowmen
& all childish foolishness,
I wondered if all the songs about Jesus’s sacrifice
were really the Easter songs.

The Gillette’s house was like a Norman Rockwell painting,
their Nativity scene reminiscent
of the Willow Tree figurines Mother adored
& the Amish rag dolls I had played with as a child.
We loved faceless things,
yet if the eyes were the windows to the soul,
did that mean we loved soulless likenesses of ourselves?

I was the unspoiled dove,
Kath, the raven-in-waiting,
& Leann, the little songbird
around which the elders
hummed & buzzed
& flitted around.

Kath was their African princess,
& I,
the pallid virgin who would be sacrificed
to save one of their own.

Poem-a-Day Writer’s Digest Challenge #1. Theme: Stay, Go

For today’s prompt, we’ve actually got a two-for-Tuesday prompt. So pick one, combine both prompts into one poem, or write two (or more) different poems. Here are the prompts:

  • Write a stay poem. A poem about staying put, not leaving, and/or dealing with someone (or something) that refuses to leave. Or…
  • Write a go poem. Fans of The Clash probably know which song prompted today’s prompt. But yeah, this is basically the opposite of staying–you know, going.

record.jpg

No Invitation

Where he was going,
she had never been;
from whence he had come,
she had never known.

Barefoot in blue jeans,
pertly pretty and fifteen,
the mirror, her mistress,
tells her in words sounding like hers
that she is the queen—
this somnambulist in the sameness of her life.

He appears as if in a golden chariot,
a childlike man on the spectrum with him;
he is ambiguous and all put-together—
everything and nothing,
from neither here nor there,
but from some other place
where music also plays.

The mesmerism of his voice—singsong and sad—
is discordant, yet she cannot close the screen door
that separates them as a bridal veil from the groom.

That day through the screen door,
on a Sunday barbecue afternoon,
the girl who knew no religion,
could not know the Devil when she saw him.
Twas when Pride met Vanity,
and lost;
when Virginity met Debauchery,
only to lose herself.

She snaps out of her hypnotic state,
as her entire life crystallizes—
the father who spoke not at all,
the mother who spoke too much,
the sister of whom much was spoken of.
“For inasmuch as ye have done it unto
one of the least of these my brethren,
ye have done it unto me,” Jesus said.
For the others, she has stayed;
for them, she will go.
The spell is broken, and it is all so
extremely frightening and incredibly real,
for this Arnold Friend is more real to her
than anything else had ever been.

Based on the short story, “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” by Joyce Carol Oates.

Also, an interesting analysis:  http://sittingbee.com/where-are-you-going-where-have-you-been-joyce-carol-oates/

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