Wearing a hand-sewn pencil
skirt, red plaid & belted
with a strip of neon

green leather thin
as a baby garden snake
she commandeered a Sunday

School class that Methodist
kids craved. Even the Baptists
wanted what she had, not to mention

the squeaky-clean Church
of Christers. She gave frosted double
fudge cookies for memorizing

psalms & whispered
the word intercourse when explaining
Joseph & Mary’s family

after Jesus. She’d drive 10-miles
to Huntington so we could see monster
movies, Curse of the Sea Creature,

The Crawling Hand. Once
a month she hauled
my sister & me to the Carroll

County library, which was on the third
floor of the courthouse, another 20
miles away. She discreetly

checked out Faulkner just for me, As I Lay
Dying. It was wrapped in pale
green library binding. I was completely

baffled, & didn’t much
understand. She told me Faulkner
advised a desperate

reader who’d tried Light
in August three times
to try reading a fourth.