She may have been my father’s mistress, but
I’ll never know. “I’ve given all that up,”
was all he’d ever say until we put
him in the ground. He helped our mother up
and down the stairs for years with her bad knees,
and washed their clothes, perhaps in penitence.
But forty years before, in innocence,
I wrote about her beauty in a verse
for high school English class. I showed my Dad,
he said, “Why’d you choose her?” “I see her three
times every week in Church!” I said, “and she
is the best looking woman there…” He had
no more to say. Was it coincidence
she and her husband left our Baptist Church?
– Steve Shoemaker, Urbana, IL, August 5, 2015