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by Melissa Gammill
"Don't tell the preacher
Daddy cussed,"
Mama urged
on the bank of his baptism.
Five-year-old eyes
nodded to please her.

But secrets and promises fluster
with desires to be heard.

"Hey Preacherman,
Daddy cussed
when Mama said 'rent due.' "

"Daddy cussed
Daddy cussed
when Mama said 'rent due.' "

It was the first promise I broke
-my betrayal inching close to sin-
right there at Daddy's altar
where new lives were to begin.

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