You There, God?

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A test of faith, that’s why, I thought, you seemed withdrawn.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

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