Part 19-D:

Esther LeBaron Spencer, Me,
And More Perils of Polygamy

Circa 1961: 15-year-old me – Beulah/Stephany Spencer-LeBaron perched outside our adobe schoolhouse in Colonia LeBaron reading to a couple of my students, first cousins Verlan M, and is it Ivan, Joel, or Nathan LeBaron?

“The successful leader
Is the one who makes
The right move at the right moment
With the right motive.”

John Maxwell 

Continued from:
Esther LeBaron-McDonald-Spencer, Me,
And More Perils of Polygamy,
Part 19-C

I’m a poet but my medium is prose
In parts of the following memories I disclose:

I’m barely sixteen, parked alone in the dark,
Behind Mexican mesquite and tall desert cacti –
My first time ever out with a guy;
Yet sitting in my cousin Babbitt’s black Cadillac,
Being coerced into an upcoming cohabitation act.

Someone should’ve had their brains examined for that!
Too late now! The damage has been done;
The perpetrators dead and gone.
(Everything goes in the name of polygamy John!)

 To think it had to be adolescent me
In this bizarre, traumatic setting, 
Devoid of romantic petting,  
Despite the moonlit night.

Fortunately and unfortunately,
As it turns out for me, 
It was to be my first and final tryst,
Plus my first and last kiss
With Ervil’s well-meaning
But badly abused 2nd cousin, 
 His Amigo Homer Babbitt.

When inhibited bashful Babbitt
Attempted to make pillow talk
With timid discombobulated me,
Out of habit, a cat got our tongues
Before we could grab it!
So Babbitt was barely able
bashfully babble:

“Prophet Ervil said God revealed to him
We’re supposed to marry to serve Him.
I’m to give Ervil a piece of land
In exchange for your giving me your hand
To be my plural wife …
So I can better use my life
To build the work of God.
Now, I want to know,
Do you agree to be my plural wife,
So I can enter the principle of celestial marriage
To better serve God?”

I shyly replied,
Despite feeling petrified:
“Yes, I agree to marry you, 
‘Cause Uncle Ervil prophesied
‘Twas what God wanted me to do …
To help build up His earthly Kingdom,
I must marry you.”

That off-the-wall secret rendezvous – 
The proposal and marriage vows – 
Was so unmemorable,
I only recall Homer then drove me back
From the mesquite and cactus outback,
To the back of my home,
Gave me a parting peck to cement or vows; 
Then dropped me off behind my house
Where nobody could see nor hear
His car coming and going – that mouse!

I remember nothing else
About that disconcerting evening
With homely Homer Babbitt –
Except feeling icky about it!
The whole event was a bummer!
It left me off-balance,
Feeling dumber than distraught, 
And with queasy sensations fraught.
A decent date it definitely was NOT!
Not even a gift nor flower had he brought!

I didn’t understand what was coming off 
Nor going on! 
This sudden off-the-wall wedding Con
 E-Vile Uncle Er-Vile had suddenly arranged
Behind my parents’ back, 
In the dead of day, 
In the name of God –
And everything at my expense – 
Was anything if not intense!
It started me back wondering again 
If there was truly a God,

As something definitely did seem awfully ODD!

For one thing, this prenuptial agreeing 
Wasn’t like I’d fantasized marriage being –
Wasn’t the way I’d romanticized matrimony
And meeting my future husband would be.
Instead, I didn’t look forward to being
Homer’s plural wife for now and all Eternity.

I queried why God would want me to do
Something seemingly so strange and untrue,
So sickening and unromantic too.
 My naive adolescent Self couldn’t understood it,
But knew enough to ask questions a bit.

As my daunting wedding day approached,
 I sensed something was definitely missing – found wanting: 
Why was The Second Grand Head Ervil’s revelation
 I was to marry Homer so haunting?
Something certainly was lacking;
And that something was passion,
And my parents backing – 
My wedding-day anticipation and joy 
I’d dreamed there would be 
When I bedded a boy.

But instead of happiness,
I felt discombobulated and confused
As to how my pre-nuptials were coming down.
Yet, didn’t dream I was being used and abused!
 I only wanted to do what God wanted me to do. 
Yet, secretly wished something would transpire too,
So this seemingly malfeasant marriage
Wouldn’t go through!

Continued in 
Esther LeBaron Spencer, Me, 
And More Perils of Polygamy,
Part 19-E






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