One day, I asked my Ma if you were there,
‘Cause I was tired of her telling me what to wear
Every Sunday when I went to church.
I knew it was time to do some research.
So Max and I went on the move.
His sniff’n could help me prove
That I didn’t need to wear no dress
Which Reverend John says it’s to impress.
I thought of Reverend John,
And, oh, how I’d like to prove him wrong.
I walked further down the boulevard
And saw you in my neighbor’s yard.
Birds were bathing in your embracing hands,
I thought, I should have known beforehand.
I smiled, shrugged, and sighed,
Then I understood: you were petrified.
I rushed to save your life.
I began to splash water onto your face,
And tried to do so with respect and grace.
(I even stopped to give you some breathing space)
A test of faith, that’s why, I thought, you seemed withdrawn.
Turns out he knew what he be preach’n about, that Reverend John.
Perhaps, I think, I needed to relax,
‘Cause Max gets scared when he sees maniacs.
He barked and barked as though he were at strife,
And I was kicked out of the yard by the neighbor’s wife.
I headed home, feelin’ all this silliness.
I thought, there’s no escapin’ church’s frilliness.
Max suddenly escapes from my grasp, and runs off.
I quickly realized why he was better off.
I heard a screeching that was so intense;
I foolishly curled into a ball for self-defense.
I waited and waited for something to happen.
But Nothing did.
The car had stopped an inch or two away.
The driver rushed out and asked me if I was okay.
I assured the both of us that I was alive and well.
To this day, I wonder if I had been under a spell.
I told Mama what happened when she tucked me into bed.
Only about the yard; for now, the rest remains unsaid.
Mama was silent, then laughed out loud,
But underneath all of that, I could tell, she felt proud.
God, I know that you’re here now,
And I would like to know:
Would you still be mad if I don’t wear stockings at church?
Artemis Katsikoumbas, Age 16, Grade 11, Fiorello H Laguardia High School of Music, Silver Key