Art Gephyr

A Good God-Fearing Southern-Baptist School

It isn't often that a
Nine year old courts
The devil,
But it happened.
It was certain, by the
Of the principal,
Who is always
Your pal, by principle,
And strictly so.

And she should know,
Since she personally knows
Someone who died
And was born again.
When I heard that special
Sermon that interrupted
I wanted so much to die,
Right there, in that big
White chapel,
Knowing that I, too, would be
Born again and live
Forever in that big
White chapel.

But you can't be
Born again if
You court the devil.
And while the spirit is
White and pure and clean,
The body is black and evil
And corrupts the spirit.

With my own eyes
(And aid of a mirror)
I saw the devil
And the devil played too
"Adult" with Caleb.
That red-haired freckle-faced Caleb.
That Caleb who smiled too much.
That Caleb I played too much with. And
Everyone saw us
It is written in the Book
That playing Adult was bad,
And she should know,
As god's faithful servant.

So the devil's work must stop--
Caleb was now my
Enemy, as I his.
And I must purge myself of
And purging came through punishment
Decreed by god,
And god's work must not stop.
It was, after all
A good god-fearing
Southern-Baptist school.

So Caleb stopped smiling,
And Caleb stopped playing,
And Caleb's parents,
Weak of faith,
Took him far away.
And I stopped smiling,
And I stopped playing
And my playing
Brought the fall of Caleb,
As Eve brought the fall of
It fit, then,
That I pay for two.
It was, after all
A good god-fearing
Southern-Baptist school.

And god eventually forgot,
As long as I remained
Meek and repentant,
And by then god saw
The sin of the fat black girl that
Joined the class.
I felt grateful for
Redemption, but also
But then again, it was her fault
That her body was
Both fat and black.
And it was, after all
A good god-fearing
Southern-Baptist school.