KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 9: Spring 2018
Poem: 207 words [R]

You’ve Got a Friend in Jesus (The Cross)

by Alexis Rhone Fancher

You see Him at your bedside, glowing,
a nightlight of calm in an unsafe world.

Your parents can’t help; they worship nothing,
while you sing hymns to Jesus in the dark,

bathe His bloodied palms in your dreams,
shudder at the cruelty of others.

At breakfast, when your mother asks,
you tell her you were practicing for assembly.

You wear a cross at school. En route, it burns hot in your fist,
but you fear your mother’s displeasure, that she’ll scoff

if you claim it repels the bullies who corner you at lunch.
Jesus protects you. He wants you to fit in.

Each day you pocket the cross before pick up.
“Just our little secret,” Jesus whispers in your ear.

Sunday mornings, your parents sleep in,
you slip into the church around the corner, sit amongst the choir,

delight them with your perfect pitch. You tell them
you’re an orphan. They stuff you with parables and longing.

One afternoon you forget to take it off.
Your mother confiscates the cross.

Now Jesus can’t find you on the playground,
but the bullies can, and push you to the asphalt,

your small palms bloody,
outstretched to break your fall.



—Published previously in One (Issue 14, 8 December 2017), Jacar Press; appears here with author’s permission


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