A Question One Might Ask, by Gil Hoy

My mother tells me,
Although I can’t remember
any of it

That when I was in the second grade
My best friend who lived
Down the street

Got to arguing with me,
A few weeks after Easter

About whether it was he or I
Who believed in Jesus Christ.

To resolve the matter,
My best friend thought he would
Check with the highest authority
Then available to a second grader:

“Mrs. Hoy, Mrs. Hoy,” he said.
“I believe in Jesus Christ—
not Gilbert—right?”

To which my mother
Paused for a bit

And then said to my best friend
Who lived down the street:
“Well, since you are Jewish,
Rodney, you don’t believe
That Jesus was the son of God.

But it is my understanding
That you believe that Jesus
Was a very fine prophet.”

My mother tells me,
Although I can’t remember
any of it

That my best friend
Who lived down the street
Then burst into tears.

My response, I am told,
Because I can’t remember
any of it

Was to say: “I’m really worried
Right now that my teacher is going
To smack my hand with a ruler–
In front of the whole class–

If I don’t get my homework done.
And what difference does
Any of this make anyway?”

Gil Hoy is a Boston poet and semi-retired trial lawyer who studied poetry at Boston University through its Evergreen program. Hoy previously received a B.A. in Philosophy and Political Science from Boston University, an M.A. in Government from Georgetown University, and a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law. He served as a Brookline, Massachusetts Selectman for four terms. Hoy’s poetry has appeared most recently in Chiron Review, Ariel Chart, Social Justice Poetry, Poetry24, Right Hand Pointing/One Sentence Poems, TheNewVerse.News, I am not a silent poet, The Potomac, Clark Street Review, the penmen review, and elsewhere.

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