Tree of Knowledge

We liked getting naked. We were five years old,
we were both girls. That made it innocent.

It wasn’t innocent to Cindy’s mother. She accused,
her proclamation punctuated by loud, livid shrieks.

The other mothers allowed a run through the sprinklers topless.
Cindy’s mother screamed when she uncovered our illicit behavior.

Once upon a time, we hid in Cindy’s closet and discovered fire in the floor.
Curious, we stepped back into our clothes to inquire.

With narrowed eyes, Cindy’s mother scrutinized our purpose,
recognizing a teaching moment when she saw one.

“That’s the devil bringing his hell to you because
you are nasty, horrible little girls!”

When I told my mother she explained the water heater next to Cindy’s closet.
When I went to catechism the nuns taught original sin, and

the verdict of guilty became solidly stitched onto my soul
when I learned why Cindy’s mother dreaded our nakedness.

This was written for the "Poetics ~ ‘His’tory, ‘Her’story & time machines" prompt at dVerse</a>. This is a true story, sad to say. Her proclamation that we were so evil the devil was bringing hell to us was stunning, to say the least, and it's something I never forgot. I don't think I got over it, not really. Unfortunately, it helped to create a deep rut called "not good enough" that the teachings on sin solidified and haunt me to this day. I must say I love these challenges!