Hawk Eyed Agnes
Now Sister Agnes was a steely, spindly woman,
who wore gray matron clothes and black lace up shoes.
She sat ram-rod straight in her wooden pew, face toward the front–
three rows back, on the left–
she took no flack from adults or kids.
And, if you sat close enough, and talked enough during holy worship hour,
she thump you on the head with withered paw,
stare you straight in the eye, and say “mash that mouth shut!”
She had eyes in the back of her grey braided hair,
and her peripheral vision wasn’t impaired.
No matter how hard you tried to pull one on her,
she was never fooled–
she became a legend of that white block church
known as the Hawke Eyed Sister,
but her eyes never worked in dual.
We know she could move them separately,
like a lizard looking for it’s prey.
One eye looking straight ahead at the preacher so reverent,
while the other scanned the crowd,
looking for some unfortunate child who was too loud.
Then her eyes would focus on the one causing disruption,
staring them down,
until a shiver ran through their souls,
and they knew they were destined to be ratted out.
Nothing hurt worse than to see that eye boring a hole,
since you knew she’d tattle to mama before the “Amen” was cold.
And no matter how hard you tried to explain,
Hawk Eye was always right– explaining made you look insane.
The preacher would confirm her worth by praising her longevity
from the pulpit’s girth.
Sister Agnes rarely grinned though,
mainly due to her wobbly dentures that moved
quiet ceremonially in and out.
And on those fleetingly rare occasions when a smile flashed by,
all the kids knew she had tried to use a super glue,
since the teeth were nicely coated
with a grungy finish of stringy, durable goo.
Although this evil Hawk Eyed woman
could cause nightmares in some small children,
everyone noticed when she was absent from her perfunctory pew.
And the day came when the church bus came back empty,
Sister Hawk Eye Agnes didn’t answer her door,
all the members speculated this saintly woman must be sick,
we’ll send her flowers, and soup, and cards, and letters,
and soon she’ll be up and fit.
It never happened,
because when all these good meaning people arrived at her door,
they were met by the police who were there checking out the place.
Seems Sister Agnes had completely disappeared, without a trace.
Some of the holy congregation said she was spirited away by angels,
others said she was a man in disguise,
still others said she was abducted…
no less by aliens,
and then some of the most holy thought she was running from the law!
Now I look back and see,
Hawk Eyed Agnes taught me so much,
not to wiggle, and talk and snort in church,
but the most important lesson I learned,
is if something bad happens, in some unjust hullabaloo,
the church people will darn well tooting think the worst of you!