Sunday Service: Kathryn Mockler poem
The bookstore was on top of another store
at the corner of a busy street. I walked up the stairs
and was met by God, a middle-aged woman
with blonde hair and glasses. God told me to take
my time looking around her father’s store. The
store had not been in operation for several years.
Who’s God’s father? I wondered. No one ever
talked about him. It was once a fine store that sold
rare and out-of-print books, she said. It now sat
dusty, and soon the building would be sold. A
lot of organization is needed, I said. She agreed.
I picked up a white and brown plastic clip-on
earring off the floor and put it on. It looked like
the kind of earring my mother kept in her jewelry
boxes, so I made a mental note to find the other
one straight away. But something drew me to the
back of the store, even though I didn’t want God
to think I planned to steal the earring, which
must have been worth a lot of money. I walked
past bookshelves, which were in varying stages of
disarray and stopped at a corner shelf near the back
exit. There I found a navy blue ledger. When I
opened the ledger I saw a list and then I saw my
name and signature and the date—January 11,
1993. That’s me, I said to God who was now standing
beside me. Yes, she said, I knew you’d come back
for it. And then she walked to the front, leaving me
alone to figure out exactly what I had come for.
Kathryn Mockler is the author of the poetry book Onion Man (Tightrope, 2011). Her writing has been published most recently in Rattle, Joyland, and CellStories. Her short films have been broadcast on TMN, Movieola, and Bravo and have screened at festivals such as the Toronto International Film Festival, Palm Springs International Festival, and EMAF. Currently, she teaches creative writing at the University of Western Ontario and is the co-editor of the UWO online journal The Rusty Toque.