her eyes buckled like sugar cane dried out

the echoes of her grandmas and great-grandmamas barely quieting her aching heart

she sang to herself over and over the hymnals she was raised with

she never much cared for boys or the free-flowing whistles they tossed at all the girls in her neighborhood

she was more concerned with the words in the holy book, the chastity of her being, the prudent and necessary discipline to become a godly woman…

but some young boy took root in her heart and she found herself with unchaste thoughts

desire so fiery she was constantly fanning herself

his lips hung heavy on hers

and even though she prayed and chanted and constantly fanned herself, she could not expel the memory of the first time she let him kiss her

and so at night, after her evening prayers – knees still imprinted with the design of her rug, fingers clutching her rosary with a death grip

she cried for relief

she cried for penance

she begged to return to the sweet, sacred space she had known before she met him


©2017 erin hoffman – all rights reserved



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