Summer 1989 • Vol. XI No. 3 Block Prose Paragraphs |

From “The Effigies”

Devotion Going into the store where votive articles are sold, a woman stamps the mud off her boots and asks the candle-maker to build a candle the exact height and weight of her son. It seems the saint has answered her prayer that the boy break off a worrisome affair with a woman eight years older than he. "It has to be 5 feet 9 inches, 169 pounds and white," she says. The candlemaker demurs, he can make one that tall but not that heavy unless he constructs a special cypress mold--very expensive. She doesn't want to know the cost; she's promised the saint, she can't cheat him. The candlemaker takes out his pencil anyway and begins making estimates--lumber, paraffin, and does she want a special fragrance added? Outside, the downspouts are full of a drumming rain. Korea is wet like this and colder, the newspapers report, though her son hasn't written since boot camp and now he's there, sleeping, she hopes, in a dry bunker behind the lines. She wishes the saint had separated the tw

Already have an account? Login

Join KR for even more to read.

Register for a free account to read five free pieces a month from our current issue and digital archive.
Register for Free and Read This Piece



Or become a subscriber today and get complete, immediate access to our digital archives at every subscription level.

Read More

Black Oak

By Robert Hill Long

Devotion Going into the store where votive articles are sold, a woman stamps the mud off her boots and asks the candle-maker to build a candle the exact height and […]

Subscribe

Your free registration with Kenyon review incudes access to exclusive content, early access to program registration, and more.

Donate

With your support, we’ll continue 
to cultivate talent and publish extraordinary literature from diverse voices around the world.