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Evangeline Cannot Cry
Evangeline cannot cry.
She will not cry as she tries to stand
Not noticing the cigarette burns on the soles of her feet.
She is not allowed to feel the pain.
She is not allowed to complain
When the fresh burns stick to the inside of her shoes.
Daddy has to preach tonight.
Evangeline has to wear a smile.
She must reply "Everything is all right".
When anyone in her daddy's audience asks how she is doing.
She cannot say that her daddy, the great evangelist whose occupation she is named after, Got angry tonight
When the pot pie filling was too thick and the crust was too dry.
Evangeline cannot cook like her mother used to cook.
Or so she has been told.
Evangeline's mother died giving her life thirteen years ago.
Evangeline knows her daddy loves her.
He just misses her momma.
That is what he tells her every night when he visits her bedroom.
"Be a good girl. Do what I say. Do not make God mad."
Evangeline cannot tell anyone what goes on between her and her daddy.
Daddy says no one will understand and if she tells,
Others will think bad of him while he preaches the Word of God.
Evangeline steps around the broken dishes on the kitchen floor.
Daddy threw them there after he said he could not eat the pot pie
She had worked so hard to make.
She cannot stop to sweep the pieces up now.
Daddy is in the car, honking the horn for her to come out.
He does not want to be late to tend the souls of man, but,
Evangeline cannot hurry and she cannot run because
Daddy burned the soles of her feet.