At eight years old, I dodged the sisters’ eyes:
I ate my lunch, then donned a saintly face,
walked out the gate, past church and up the rise
toward Horn’s Variety, that mythic place.
The path was new to me. I walked alone
and genuflected to inspect a sheared-
off branch, a mica fleck, a swallow’s bone.
I used a stick to write dam hell; then cleared
away the words. Dust pleated in my skirt.
I felt a breath unloosen in my chest,
expanding, fearless in this wondrous dirt
of disobedience, this fresh unrest.
The church bells rang. I rose, denied the call.
Picked freedom, sin, a red hot Fireball.