The opening poem in this unique collection features a little girl delighted by a beach vendor’s jewelry. She is unaware that her favorite earrings in his case—a pair of bowtied bunnies—symbolize the Playboy empire. The poems that follow hold echoing tensions: innocence, experience, sexuality, faith, and the uneasy bedfellows made when they all collide.
That collision expresses the friction the speaker feels as she adheres to and expands the confines of her faith. From awkward first kisses shared on a church couch to refusing to talk to men who are not Mormon, her poems remain funny, wry, and thoughtful.
Despite the promise to steer clear of non-Mormon men, the final poems detail her marriage to a Catholic husband who offers Hail Mary prayers after a lost pregnancy while she struggles to find comfort from a Mother in Heaven. And despite the couples’ differences and moments of heartache, they thrive, allowing themselves to “imagine [they’re] floating in bright bubbles of light.” It is an emotional roadmap for anyone else familiar with such tensions, joys, and accommodations.
Deja Earley describes herself as a “sassy Mormon,” living a live of adventure in different places throughout the country— from San Diego to Utah, Arizona, and Boston. She now lives in Auburn, Alabama with her husband, Sam Ruddick, and their daughter, Henrietta Plum. She has been published in the Bat City Review, Blue Mesa, Dialogue, Iodine Poetry Journal, Lilliput Review, Sunstone, Talking Rover, and the Utne Reader. Her work has also appeared in two poetry collections: Fire in the Pasture and the Southern Poetry Anthology.