As You Believed

Kathy Sparling
Kathy Sparling


Mother may suspect small hayloft sin
To Father, not a whisper where we’ve been.

With a boy you never would forget
You rolled a corn silk cigarette –
That confession, they’re awaiting yet.
But as blameless babes might end in purgatory
You’d find another ending to that story
In the end you know there’s goodness, then there’s glory
And you believed, and went in first
And you believed, and saw them nursed
And you believed, not saving face
And rose to tend a stranger’s grief
And spread the balm of your belief
Your saving grace,
As you believed.

I was second youngest for a while
Now I can’t remember mother’s smile.

For the soul who would have numbered seven
Is testing all her faith in heaven,
A dark weight your small light cannot leaven.
As you listened for the comforts left unspoken
Rejecting as you must an awkward token
A promise first deferred and finally broken
Still you believed, but mustn’t touch
Still you believed, but not too much
Still you believed she did her best
Until it seemed that all her grief
Could settle into your belief
And finally rest,
As you believed.

Doctor I don’t need you anymore
I’ve met the man you must have cured me for.

With a name no harder to pronounce
That I never once heard you denounce
All your silent treatments might announce
That your loyalty so stubborn once excited
Could will away the doubts our faults ignited
Our fragility unguessed at while we slighted
All you believed, but we did not
While you believed, we only thought
Well you believed, and treacherous,
For now it seems that in our grief
We’ve found the depths of your belief in us,
As you believed, you believed, you believed.