Childhood Memory With Significant Last Two Lines


Not only did I believe in God
not only did my sister believe in God
but one morning we wrote him a letter: “Dear God,
We love you. We thank you. Please come
for supper tonight at 721 Sheridan Avenue.”

Our parents did not believe in God.
But they brought over an extra chair and set out a generous serving.
Rozzy and I sat to the right of this set-up, they to the left and we all—
the visible and the invisible, in solidarity—settled into a
nice meat-and-potatoes meal.

God had an amazing appetite.
We kept re-filling his plate and it kept getting emptied.
And though his cup runneth’d over,
Though water didn’t stay in it very long
Later he took two heaping helpings of dessert.

Rozzy and I were aghast.
Our jaws down to the floor.
“Huh?” “What?”
Pointing to the repeatedly empty dessert dish—”Who?” “How?”

Our father looked a bit smug
and our mother shrugged and smirked.
“Whatsammater, kids? Why so surprised?
Don’t you believe in God?”

About Marion Deutsche Cohen

Marion Deutsche Cohen is the author of 18 books, poetry and prose, including "Crossing the Equal Sign" (poetry about the experience of mathematics, Plain View Press, TX) and "Dirty Details: The Days and Nights of a Well Spouse" (Temple University Press). She teaches math at Arcadia University, in Glenside PA.

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