One Reply to “3.9.2015 Journal Prompt”

  1. The priest says as how God is all-seeing and all-knowing and with God like that we is supposed to be every waking moment in fear of our very souls. The priest, old as a bricks or bell-towers, and standing tall in his pulpit – though he’s crooked by now – and if you squint and hold up only the pinch of finger and thumb he’s as small as a bird or a bug. And he waves the point of his finger in the air, waves it like a stick or a cane, and he says we is not ever to be sinning or God’ll know.

    Or if we has been sinning, then we is to repent of that sin before God and the priest, and then to be asking forgiveness so as our souls can be clean again. Clean as Sunday school socks and dresses and pants.

    And I reckon as mama is a bit like God in the all-seeing and all-knowing department. And a bit like the priest too in the crooked she is and her finger waving in the air like his finger and she tells us she’ll know if we has done wrong. And she says she can read it in our faces, like sin can burn you same as the sun.

    And mama stands at the window, higher as the priest in his pulpit, and she looks down on the whole world and she listens with ears sharp as a cat’s and her eyes sharp, too. And I can feel her following me to school, like she’s a voice at my back or a hand heavy on my shoulder, and I don’t never look back, cos the priest says as how no man can look into the face of God without trembling and I’m already trembling enough knowing mama is there at her window.

    And mama knows, like God must. Knows all the little things. Knowed when I kissed Kirsty Willis and knowed that I kissed her twice and I put my hand under her dress and it felt like a sin but I did it anyways. And Kirsty’s hand hot as the sun under my dress.

    ‘Tis a sin, girl,’ mama said.

    And mama knowed I was smoking with the Gutter boy, even though I only took the one draw of his cigarette and I didn’t inhale none, held the smoke in my puff-ball cheeks and blowed it out again as quick as sneezing or spit.

    ‘Tis sure to blacken your insides and to tarnish the soul to boot-black.’

    And mama says I must tell her everything or there’s no saving my soul, and there ain’t no room in heaven for sullied souls, she says. Just like we must keep our dresses and pants and socks clean of a Sunday or there’s no going to church then.

    No going to church, like it is something welcome and wondrous, with the priest hectoring us from his high place, and putting the fear of God in us with his pointing finger, and his eyes sharp as pins or burning like embers.

    And the best bit – if there is a best bit – is only the singing, and it ain’t nearly so good as singing along with the radio, me and Kirsty, cos then we is singing songs about love ever after and love in our hearts undying, and I reckon I love Kirsty more than my immortal soul, and I don’t care if God knows and I don’t care if mama knows neither, though I don’t ever confess as much to no one, not even to the priest in his wooden box.

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