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       A Verse Narrative by Michael E. Mautner


    No segue.  Straight away
    to 1929 and a kid's bout
    with his troublesome x-ray eyes.

    Buried in her cerebellum,
    the knowledge of where he came from
    goes unnoticed.  Sarah doesn't want
    to think on it on Sunday.  She won't.
    Well, maybe later,
    when their new preacher's done.

    Reverend Ellis admonishes
    his few believers with a lesson
    from Peter's First Letter:

    --    As Abram's mate called him her Master,
          submit to your husband, each wife.
          If he doubts the Word -- our very life --
          win him to it with gentle behavior.
          His penitence will surely end
          your present despair, so let your
          own inner beauty be a loud prayer,
          and rest assured: when you reach him
          the Lord will tell you He has heard.

    Sarah wishes her partner were with her
    in church, but in the two years since
    "Jor-El's" lurching visitation
    Eben has absented himself
    from the minister's congregation.
    That sinister configuration
    purged his urge for salvation's comfort
    and sowed in him the belief (her grief!)
    that Heaven can't have a portion
    in a soul that's been contorted
    seeing a scion of Hell's fire.
    He is missing much.
    She gains strength from Ellis' speech,
    straightens herself and looks down pew
    at Clark, who's staring at the roof.
    He and his father will deal
    with their anger.  She will heal
    the rift between them by showing
    equal favor to both.  She smiles.
    Clark is looking at the pastor,
    listening intently.
    Her heart beats a bit faster.
    Her God has given her her proof.

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