The Great Escape

Lyrics from Blaspheme by tOdd

It was a hot summer’s eve in Duncan
When I first got a whiff of danger
Mama pulled over at a phone booth
To lay hands on a perfect stranger

The next day I begged for a turtle
From Woolworth’s Five-and-Dime
She had to pull the car over again
Just to pray for wisdom this time

When dad left town to find a job
She held my little brother to the table
The knife flashed above his throat
Too young to run—we weren’t able

She babbled something about the Lord
And how her faith needed testing
Like Abraham offering Isaac, his son
She was immune to any arresting

We clung to dad when he got home
But she slipped out a window faster
They found her across town, half naked
In a pickup owned by her pastor

She went away for a while
To a padded cell in OK City
Our grandmas took turns holding us
But our outlook wasn’t pretty

Dad built me a wooden airplane
Holding back tears and anger
I was so scared and confused, when
He drove up north and sprang her

She showed off some crafts she made
A Bible scene and a sequined purse
After that kind of shock therapy
How could things ever get worse?

Friends and family shunned us
She still couldn’t let them go unsaved
So dad moved us far away again
Everyone hoped that she behaved

She got kicked out of another church
Interrupting and speaking in tongues
They escorted us all out, I remember
Shear embarrassment caved my lungs

At another brand new Sunday School:
“Raise your hand if you don’t love Jesus”
“Why not?!” they gasped at me
“I… I don’t want to be crazy like she is.”

The next church lasted a few weeks too
She dragged me up to the front
“My boys are going to Hell,” she cried
And that was her last goddamn stunt

The next cold Sunday morning in Casper
I let the air out of that woman’s tires
I wrestled open the hood of her Oldsmobile
And rearranged all the wires

The car wouldn’t start—
It was a fiendish work of art

“I’m sorry kids, but we’ll miss church today.”
“But mama, won’t it start if you just pray?”

Copyright © 2016 by tOdd. All rights reserved.

Image circa 1968.