April Michelle Bratten

Missouri by david thompson

“Missouri” by David Thompson


Breakfast With Christians

We were 15 years old then,
as smooth babies,
singing for the congregation.

The music flew from our 4 mouths
in blue and silver streams, pure,
the chords of “O Holy Night”
sung over a hard plunked organ.

We held hands as we sang,
dressed in our skirts and blouses,
panty hose, and shiny shoes.Amen! A-men.

Afterward,
I sneaked stealthily,
alone,
out of the church’s back door
to smoke a cigarette
in the cold morning air,
or I would hustle off
to the supply room
to kiss boys
around the brooms and mops.

Then I would quietly return to my pew,
bow my head,
and listen to the pastor say those loud,
important,
grieving words.

10 years later,
after our lives had bent
into curious and separate formations,
we reunited to have a catch-up breakfast.

I had spent the night before
at a party in a trailer park,
swigging Captain Morgan shots and hitting
the beer bong with fierce tenacity.

Over their gooey eggs, the three other ladies
spoke of their perfect children,
perfect husbands,
and perfect prayer meetings.

I excused myself from the table
and went outside to smoke a cigarette,
alone,
in the cold morning air.

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