'She's a Prostitute'
In my first years of teaching
I shared a flat with a girlfriend.
She, too, was from a family of sisters
So a single bedroom with a double bed
Was just like 'home'.
We lived together for three years
Each with our own circle of friends
And our respective church commitments.
Anglican hers was, with an evangelical outreach.
She was very enthusiastic, and involved.
I supported her programmes when I could.
One weekend I went to a 'church party',
An activity of her congregation's work
In the inner city area.
'Saving souls' did not sit well with me
But I was willing to withhold judgement
Until I had more familiarity
With how her church approached it.
The hall was bustling when I arrived
Smelling wonderfully of coffee and cake.
My room mate came to welcome me
With a young woman in tow
Nineteen or twenty, maybe.
A bright-eyed, pretty girl
Casually dressed, with minimal make-up.
A little shy, I thought, as I watched their approach.
And my friend said archly,
'Cynthia, this is Sarah. She's a prostitute.'
I couldn't believe my ears!
I held out my hand, smiling,
'Hello, Sarah She's A Prostitute.
I'm very pleased to meet you.'
My friend flushed.
Sarah's eyes flashed.
Then she chuckled.
'I'm pleased to meet you, too, Cynthia.'
And we went off together for goodies.
We discussed the weather, public schooling
And the current job market.
She was a clever, knowledgeable, funny girl
Some mother's fine daughter!
I really, really liked her.
Sex never came up, nor God either.
Cynthia Buell Thomas, August, 2019