The latest assignment from Mel’s MFA Sunday School is to write a sestina. The rules are simple, but the task is incredibly difficult. I’m working on it. I’ve written one before, though, and since I’ve been writing a bit more about my relationship with Hubby, I thought I’d share my one successful sestina (still untitled) here:
We drove east, past the largest cross
in the Western Hemisphere
just outside the town of Groom.
From a great distance
we could see how tall and white
someone in Texas thinks Jesus stands.
We didn’t stop to get out and stand
at its base, where the stations of the cross
in bronze surround the gaudy, metallic white
of the original. In another hemisphere
they’ve built a bigger monument, a distant
symbol of the church’s groom.
As a child, I had been groomed
to be the good Christian girl, to stand
by my parents’ morals. But with distance
from mother and father, first across
the state, then the country, outside their sphere
of influence, the black and white
world I had known became less white.
They would not have chosen this groom
for me, a Jew from the hemisphere
opposite the one in which they stand.
He does not wear a cross
or a star around his neck and distances
himself from all talk of religion. The distance
he traveled to eventually meet me, a white
girl from the Midwest, was not crossed
with the intention of becoming my groom.
But here we stand,
a matched set, the hemisphere
of my heart locked into the hemisphere
of his. He holds my hand and drives the distance
between our life and where my old life stood,
in a Missouri town, mostly white
and Protestant. I check the mirror, groom
my hair, and watch that cross
grow smaller where it stands, a white
point on this hemisphere, with distance,
out of sight. I kiss my groom and drop the cross.