Her dad's the Preacher
of New Jordan Baptist Church,
a straw bale building
along State Highway 9.
Dust spirals up from the roadside
into the playground,
where six-year-old Amy runs
a makeshift barber shop before Bible class
shearing sinful curls
from a flock of young Christians.
But Cynthia is shorn already–
not coming to church anymore.
Bad blood, Dad explains.
In the Healing Room,
after Cyn’s funeral,
Amy plays with a velcro Noah’s ark,
while Dad comforts the bereaved parents
by telling them
they didn’t believe strongly enough
to save her.
The parents weep; Amy
tears horses, peacocks, off the ark,
throws them overboard
to drown in the sea of blue carpet.
Later, with the same rasp – whoosh,
she rips a match in the silent sanctuary.
Flame snaps across wadded tissues;
in a fissure of the unfinished sill,
loose straw crackles
like voices raised in jubilation.
Musical composition by Victor David Sandiego