Bishop Brom Barbara Yoes

Paul is a pain in the ass; I don't even like him, but we have something in common; shame and pain. I wear a purple blouse, a black skirt and black sandals. The jacaranda trees are casting their weightless beauty to the concrete below; it is June, 2007.

I step up to the courthouse, but not before the door opens. I notice a woman behind me, and Paul whispers in my ear, "It's time." The woman asks if she can clip the microphone to my blouse and what I assume is a battery pack receiver to the inside of my black waist band in the back. Paul and the woman say: "Tell him whatever you need to say."

I walk up, confident and strong, knowing I am stepping up to the gallows.

The cross he wears is huge, it is silver and as big as his chest, it hangs over black robes. He is small, but I know him, not personally, but nonetheless, I introduce myself. I shake his hand as he recoils with recognition on his face. I follow him. First at his side, then behind him as he begins to shake his head, "No."

Two men behind him yell at me with authoritarian voices: "You cannot speak to him." But I speak to him, and I ask him questions, following every question with the word; "Sir?" I notice camera crews. I try to keep up with him as he tries so hard to avoid me. There is something wrong but momentous happening in this common place. Why am I here? I am so scared and yet my voice is strong. I feel out of my body, yet rooted, and therefore, I am calm within a storm.

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