You're Such a Softie
by Susan Jones
I see you, granite faced lady
In the next-to-the-last pew on the left side
Jaw clenched, brows pulled
Meeting at the nosepiece of your
Totting up the sins of my littles
With the precision of an
Old-fashioned clanging registration.
They are wearing pants
Crawling around on the communion kneeler.
I see you, gangsta-wanna be
With your homies, pants dragging
Dropping f-bombs like sunflower seeds,
Calling out nasty things to the girls
Who roll their eyes, vowing to
Never date that guy (and do,
Three year later)
Pretending that it's cool to fail
When you don't try,
'Cause it would be worse if you try
And really failed.
And then the Christmas pageant
With all the kids in falling-off costumes
Stage-whispering that Mary
Is doing it WRONG
And the lady's eyebrows relax
And her wrinkles move like the
Tectonic plates under Arizona
And re-form the tragic
Rocky Mountains of her face
And then the little boy
Alone at his brother's basketball hoop
In the cracked drive with all the weeds
And no hope of even hitting the net
Let alone the rim
And you hitch up your pants
And lift the boy high,
Higher until he dunks the ball
And you both laugh.
You're such a softie.