Sister Mary Frances

by | Issue #2, Issues

                                  with her wry grin—
a smile that curled the lips even as the rest of her face resisted.

She taught us Joan of Arc and that animals have no soul –
which you outright rejected
and were sent home.

That summer we held a mass burial
for a litter of kittens – ten in all –
after they wandered into an ice chest
in the garage and knocked the lid shut.
Horror of innocence;
nothing lost in their perfection –
still coat of varied colors asleep.

We gathered wildflowers,
holding hands in the August field
where we gave their beauty back to Earth.

What did we know then that feels difficult now?

Maybe Sister had never seen eternal bliss like
the eyes of a dog with a spoon of peanut butter in front of her nose –
the cross-eyed slobber of our great unknowing.

Megan Riggle lives in Kentucky with her partner, her teen child, an elderly St. Bernard named Pearl Seymour, and a half-tailed black cat who infrequently answers to Cuddles. When not writing, she spends her free time gardening or staring at the moon.