Angel Eyes

Poems Vernon L. Harper

Bubbling laughter, a flashing smile and eyes that light up her father. At four this girl feels like a superhero, her power, she makes her daddy smile.

One of her mother’s coworkers almost invited her family to church but got cold feet about talking religion on the job. She also decided that to go to that part of town would be way out of the way for a busy Sunday morning.

Velvet skin, long pigtails and eyes that look for her father, at eight this girl is still a superhero but daddy is no longer around to be affected by her powers.

A pastor almost set up and evangelistic tent in her neighborhood but after a protracted business meeting with the deacons decided instead to fulfill his promise of remodeling the restrooms in the basement of the church.

Tomboy legs, singing dimples and eyes that gobble up the morning, at twelve her powers affect substitutes. Older boys introduce themselves and young men circle closer.

Two church members saw her walking with friends from school and scolded her intensely about the length of her skirt and the tightness of her blouse. They did not however invite her to church or consider her mother’s ability to keep a growing young girl in clothes that fit.

A little girl's voice, a woman’s face and eyes that recede from tomorrow, at sixteen this girl has lost all her super powers, for these men that come will sometimes laugh but never do they smile.

Three hypocrites, doing the damage that hypocrites do, saw her walking one cool evening. She took their money like anybody else’s but decided that she would not visit that church anymore for fear she might be recognized.

A little girl’s face, a woman’s voice and eyes that are brightened by her father, at twenty she has discovered late, but it is never too late, that though her daddy is still gone her father never left and when she seeks his face she always finds a smile.

Angel eyes sharing her father’s smile. 


From Book: "Christian Poems and Other Radical Explorations"

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