Sister Joan

by Allison Curth

The rosary beads pooled in my palm. I weaved them through my hands, between each finger. The nun beside me counted another bead and muttered a Hail Mary, but I pulled my rosary into a game of Cat’s Cradle.

“You should know better, Sister Joan,” Mother Superior would say if she saw me. “Rosaries are for praying, not playing.”

I pulled the beads tight and imagined the delicate fingers playing along as they used to. They grasped my own as her amber eyes filled with wonder. “I want to try!” I gently intertwined our fingers with the old fraying shoestring. But the sound of the bell brought me back to reality. It was time for Mass.

Father gave his homily on the importance of the saints as intercessors. I had my own saint to pray for me. Her tiny fingers had turned the pages of her prayer book as I had read aloud our bedtime prayer. When we finished, those sweet little fingers clutched her book to her heart. “Jesus loves me very much!”

“Yes, darling. Very very much.”

Not three hours later, my beloved saint had evaded hell— but not the Flames.

"Fall of My Beloved/Elephant Man" by Michael Binder

“Fall of My Beloved/Elephant Man”
by Michael Binder