Old-Time Religion by Beverly A. Jackson

(orig­i­nal­ly appeared in Dead Mule)

She loves him as only a Chris­t­ian woman
can love a man; cru­ci­fies him with love,
bears wit­ness to love, kills him with devo­tion.
She is called Jude. She sings
Jesus Loves Me with a pow­er that
promis­es He'd darn-sight bet­ter.

Her hus­band leaves at mid­night.
She turns in her bed, naked & warm,
to hear him at the gate. Out­side,
snow thick as white oleo lies
in slabs under moon­light. His cat crawls
from under the truck & ducks inside
for warmth as he slips out to icy air.

Jason” she cries. His blue eyes flash
fox-like as he bolts, with her in pur­suit.
His foot pumps the gas & the old engine
turns over. Doors locked, he shifts into gear.
Across the snow she runs, breasts bob­bing,
legs sprint­ing, moon­lit hair fly­ing behind.

His shoe press­es the ped­al. She leaps
on the run­ning board. Her rav­aged face
press­es against his win­dow, a gargoyle’s
mask of furi­ous despair. Her mouth makes
"Jasons" in the air; wide toothy sound­less
"O"s against the frosty glass. With arms
embrac­ing steel, her body hugs the cab.

When he picks up speed, she screams,
lets go, falls back into the snow,
chest heav­ing at the moon, & lies wait­ing
for the cold to melt her rage.
Her sobs assault the qui­et, coun­try night,
curs­es pitch like arrows after a truck
long out of sight & sound. She knows
she's seen the last of it and him.

In the crisp light of morn­ing, fresh­ly bathed,
and smil­ing with resolve, she takes his cat
to the pound & goes to church.

Bev­er­ly A. Jack­son lives in the moun­tains of Asheville where she writes and paints. Her work appears in many online lit­er­ary venues and in print. Her blog is at www​.bev​erlya​jack​son​.com and her art can be seen at www​.artshack​stu​dio​.com.

This entry was posted in beverly a. jackson, old-time religion, poetry. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Old-Time Religion by Beverly A. Jackson

  1. SilverRose says:

    that is one GREAT piece of writ­ing!!! absolute­ly great!!!

  2. bevjackson says:

    Thanks, JCand thanks, Rusty.

  3. jc says:

    Hey Bev,I loved all of this, but I have to say that first stan­za real­ly knocked me on my ass. What a great por­trait in such a few words. Real­ly great!!I'm hap­py to see that that East Coast air is doing you some good down there. :)Rusty, I think it would be cool if you shared what book you sent to peo­ple and maybe why you shared that par­tic­u­lar one. I know you've real­ly turned me on to some writ­ers that have real­ly changed my life, and I know now why you chose those for me. It would be great to see what you have in mind for others.I hope Tomi drops some­thing to you. I'll always remem­ber that sto­ry about the guy and the chick­en, and I think that exem­pli­fies what yer talk­ing about here.JC

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