The last Sunday
I remember her freckles like finger paint, red and brown mixed to muddy red-brown. They were smudged onto the back of her hands and on the bony points of her thin wrists, up along her forearms and over the elbows and the soft insides of her elbows, covering her muscles and her shoulders and disappearing, massed together like marching fingertips, into her sleeveless sun dress. She had long arms. Bare arms. Covered in freckles. She had a long and freckled neck.
She taught us to sing that Jesus’ loved us, the little children. She taught us to paint with our fingers, in red and yellow and black and white. She taught us about the children of the bible, Moses in a felt-board basket, Jacob in a crayola coat, David in motions to a song, Jesus just like us. She taught us about the children and compared us to the sheep who were always so fluffy and white in the pictures, the sheep who were snotty, slobbery and stupid on the farm but always seemed so clean in the pictures.
I remember her holding her hand up and saying were we ready. Her arms were smooth. Her freckles were smooth and ran up her arm. Was it Palm Sunday? I remember a pile of palms and she held one up and said were we ready and I was and she said did we know what this was and I wanted to know. I wanted to.
And then my dad was there and I didn’t know why and I was confused and said what? and he said we had to go. “I’ve been told,” he said, “that we’re not welcome here."