cambridge book review

Do Thus in Remembrance of Ma

Norma Gay Prewett

Inscribed in Gothic letters into the altar of the First Methodist Church in Steward, Illinois was the command: “Do This in Remembrance of Me.” But to my bored and undiscerning thirteen-year-old eye, the last word was “Ma,” and I amused myself wondering what exactly I was supposed to do for Ma. I sang in the choir, one of the reasons I attended church as long as I did, and depending from the sanctuary ceiling were glass shades that culminated, hanging down, in sharp arrowhead-tipped spikes that seemed suspended on chain too flimsy to really hold them. There were very few earthquakes in that part of the world in the fifties, but I was given to fancy, and clearly imagined at least one of the mammoth fixtures plummeting down on the bowed heads of the congregation, making Christ’s crown of thorns seem like an Easter bonnet. This is the kind of girl I was, and, sadly, despite Ma’s best efforts, the kind of woman I have become. Now that Ma has gone—I have decided to remember her and thus, do thus in remembrance of Ma.

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March 31, 2010 Posted by | memoir, poetry | , , | Leave a comment