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by Carl Palmer
The mother attempts to calm her screaming
squirming child in the pew in front of ours.
I watch Dad catch the little boy's attention as
he magically unscrews his right index finger.
Moving his hands quickly apart he masks the
folded finger stub on his right hand and bent
left thumb to imply his fingertip is really off.
Dad wiggles the undone finger a bit before
he screws it back and flexes his reassembled
hand for an amazed smiling quiet little boy.
A giggle escapes my mouth and Mom hides
her smiling lips behind gloved hands to look
around the church at a relieved congregation.