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Back in the Sixties
by Ellaraine Lockie

She wore red to a funeral
Too festive said the Montana Methodists
But why if he didn't really die she said

She wore black satin to the prom
Just like that Elizabeth Taylor they said
Three inches below collarbone, shiny and short
Others' ankle teasing, crinolined and pastel
Inoffensive formals on fake virgins

Hers teasing more than ankles
on good country Christian men
Slut whispers from Southern Baptist
wives in Northern Montana

The Lutherans let her in
until she sang secular for Sunday Service 
Sacrilegious they said
As they saved their souls
with wafers and wine

Catholicism came on a white horse
heralded by black ghost habits
Redeeming her fashion faux pas 
and music mistakes with hail Marys 
and profferings to the priest

Give to be forgiven they said
Successful sinning with salvation
Like writing a check on zero balance
knowing parents will recompense

But her parents wouldn't pay the Pope
Give it up or get out they said 
So she took her trinity-triggered 
tendonitis to college and joined a cult
Where nobody said anything
They just smoked

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