Father Smith strode into our fifth-grade
classroom, white hair and beard, a lean
Santa Claus without the sack of toys.
He ordered us to stand. I stood with the rest.
Boys in white shirts, black pants, ties.
Girls in plaid skirts.
“EVERYONE LOOK AT TWO OTHER
STUDENTS IN THIS CLASS!” boomed
We did. But instead of glancing at two students,
I looked at Whitney twice. Once at each of her
shapely, brown thighs–at least as much as her
skirt couldn’t hide.
“ONE OF THE STUDENTS YOU JUST
LOOKED AT IS GOING TO HELL!”
yelled Father Smith. “Because the BIBLE says
WIDE is the gate and BROAD is the road that
leads to DESTRUCTION!”
He shot us all hard stares, then went on:
“BUT IF YOU HELP EACH OTHER stay on
the NARROW ROAD which leads to heaven,
you might SAVE ONE OF THE STUDENTS
you just looked upon.”
For years after, Father Smith’s words echoed in
my head, but every time Whitney caught trouble,
I failed to even try to set her back on the straight
and narrow. I guess I just couldn’t imagine any
heaven without both of those shapely, brown thighs
wrapped around my head without a halo.