The Altar Boy Who Panicked

“photo of brown church” by Akira Hojo on Unsplash

Not long ago, in a church yonder,
A suave neighbor swept Martha.
I was there. I watched from the altar;
The Mass went on, and me, being a server, couldn’t falter.

They giggled and wiggled during the sermon.
The itch in my throat grew strong.
An attempt to clear felt wrong;
Even the priest seemed worried. It showed in his stare, long.

Mother had warned me of love come fast.
In this age of Twitter”, she said, “these things do not last”.
I could feel her eyes on my skull as I stared into the crowd aghast.

The burden of loss is never a light one.
To ponder alone at the time when all was fun.
I’d thought my Martha was my only one.
Even against my mother’s wishes, I’d promised her we’d run.

When mass ended. I rushed to clear my robe.
The crowd moved slow — a well-played joke.
I found Martha crossing the road with the bloke.
I screamed and cursed at the heavenly poke.

Now, here’s the real joke: that was Martha’s long gone cousin who just came back from four years out of the country.
She was so excited, she’d literally burned all her home including the pantry.
When I found out, I rushed in tears and reached her home panting.

She took me into her arms and said those words I needed to hear:
It’s okay boo boo, I am not angry

Written by

Cameroonian writer and video creator. Featured in LEVEL and P.S. I Love You. I write about building relationships and personal transformation.

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