Of Steeples, Streets, and Childhood
The steeple of Liscum Road Parrish loomed over my neighborhood. Most of the time, it felt like it loomed over my entire childhood. As I got older I realized it was just a trick of how the streets wound up arranged, all fanning out from town center so they seemed to inevitably lead back to the church. The tree-lined avenues of all my young memories offered a view of the white roof and simple cross, framed in leaves.
I could see it from two blocks over on Oak when Peter Hemst threatened me with a baseball bat if I didn’t hand over his prized cat’s eye. The cross looked down on Judd Kendle’s backyard where we all discovered how cigars can make you puke. The very eye of God seemed to peek around the cross and into the attic window of Annie Yager’s house the time when I touched my first boob.
As the smoke rolls in, the battered skyline looks down on me indifferently. There are no crosses here. Perhaps we blew them all up. Perhaps they never had any.
Perhaps it’s best God ain’t looking right now.