Mrs. Watson’s Bible By Jacqueline Jules

Mrs. Watson’s Bible

Southern Virginia, 1963,
Mrs. Watson had a Holy Bible.
Black leather, gold embossed letters.
Too big to fit in a hotel drawer,
it stood upright on a metal stand,
eye level from my seat in the third row.

Its gold cross glared at Jewish me
each time Mrs. Watson called
an errant child to be chastised
by the blackboard.

Are you a Christian?”

Like simple math: 2 + 2 = 4,
Christian was the only logic needed
to understand why
you shouldn’t use curse words,
swipe a quarter, or knock
the skinny girl off the swings.

Are you a Christian?”

I still wonder what
my bitten lips would have said
if she had asked Jewish me.

But that was long ago, before anyone
praised or decried “Politically Correct.”
Before anyone would even consider
telling Mrs. Watson
she shouldn’t judge others
by her own equations.

By Jacqueline Jules

Biography:

Jacqueline Jules is the author of three chapbooks, Field Trip to the Museum (Finishing Line Press), Stronger Than Cleopatra (ELJ Publications), and Itzhak Perlman’s Broken String, winner of the 2016 Helen Kay Chapbook Prize from Evening Street Press. Her poetry has appeared in over 100 publications including The Broome Review, Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, Hospital Drive, and Imitation Fruit. She is also the author of 40 books for young readers. Visit http://www.jacquelinejules.com.

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