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Mary Ann's Hallway

Mary Ann’s Hallway

C. Ann S. 2004

There was a little girl.
Her name was Mary Ann.
She sat out in the hallway
As holidays were banned.

No Christmas tree or birthday cake.
No New Year’s resolution.
To her church and family
These were sinful mind pollution.

Instead she was taught their rules.
She knew them all so well;
Don’t think, don’t ask, don’t say a word.
Don’t you ever tell.

The silence was deafening as
She bottled up her questions.
She tried to keep their lies
Handed out as explanations.

She used her pillow late at night
To bottle up her cries.
She pasted on her mask each day.
She smiled through the lies.

“I’m ok.
I’m just fine.
Nothing’s going on.”
The teacher’s seemed unconvinced
But they soon left her alone.

The hallway was a lonely place
for the little Mary Ann.
She wasn’t given anything;
No pencil, pen or crayon.

After time, when all was quiet
She’d cautiously get up
And look into the window
Of the world that was corrupt.

The children looked so happy
With their cake and cards and presents.
The hallway seemed so lonely
With nobody else in it.

The years crawled by one by one.
The hallway stayed the same.
Cold and dark and empty.
No one ever came

To get the little girl
Who’s name was Mary Ann.
No one tried to save her
Or try to understand.

Some teachers tried to trick her.
Tried to get her to come in.
“No one will find out” they said.
“Eating candy’s not a sin.”

They didn’t understand
The power of the lie
Growing deep inside her heart
Where all her hope would die.

She was different!
She was better!
God thought she was good!
She wore her hallway shame with honor.
Like they told her that she should.


When Mary Ann turned ten
She became so sad inside.
Buried deep inside her
All the tears she hadn’t cried.

She couldn’t speak the words
That she wasn’t supposed to say.
She laid down in her bed.
She began to pray.

Then she walked behind the wall
Of all the hate and fear.
She told the God that loved her.
She knew that He could hear.

She closed the door
And heard the click
Of the lock upon that room.
She laid down in the corner
Of her self-created tomb.

The days and weeks and months passed by
As the little girl laid still.
The family and the doctors
Said she’d lost her will.

“She needs blood” the doctor’s said.
“Or surely she will die!”
The church said “absolutely not!”
And left her there to die.

They quoted scriptures, quoted verse.
They made the doctors mad.
Mary Ann was taken home
By her Mom and Dad.

A diet was prescribed for her.
Pills and meats and liver.
The thought of those disgusting tastes
Caused Mary Ann to shiver.

She gathered up her will
And ate the food they gave.
She went back to the hallway
She tried harder to be brave.

Soon she grew and left that school.
No more empty hallways waited.
She tried to put behind her
All those memories that she hated.


As she grew she changed.
She grew weary of the lies.
She started asking questions.
She started asking, “Why?”
The faces with the plastic smiles
That filled the Kingdom Hall
Soon turned to fearful glances.
The fear was on them all.

They said she was a sinner.
No longer in the flock.
Her punishment was silence.
She was not allowed to talk.

Mary Ann was silenced
Until she proved repentant.
The problem was she wasn’t.
Her heart was just not in it.

The lies had piled up
Through the lonely years.
The hallway and its haunting
Still lingered in her tears.

She turned and walked away.
Happy to be free!
But the people with the masks
Called it Apostasy.

They lurked in every shadow.
They watched her through the night.
Everywhere she tried to go
They kept her in their sight.

How could they be everywhere?
As though they all were gods!
She tried to shake them loose.
They would turn around and nod.

One day she had a plan.
She went to the Kingdom Hall.
She told them all her sin.
She told them of her fall.

She called them names and told them lies.
Words they wanted to hear.
She was unrepentant.
She didn’t shed a tear.

They had the proof they needed.
They showed her their long list.
The shunning was official.
She was disfellowshipped.

When she called to tell her parents
They said “now you are dead.”
She cried throughout that night
Alone upon her bed.

She waited for the Satan
They always said would come.
Now she was disfellowshipped.
She was Satan's own.

The blackness swirled around her.
The air was icy cold.
“This is it” she thought.
“I’m only 19 years old.”

I never kissed a boy
Or excelled at anything.
I never went to dances.
I never wore a ring.

As the nevers filled her head
The girl named Mary Ann
Felt a lightness in the room
And Jesus touch her hand.

His Voice rang loud and clear
From the darkness in her soul.
His Voice said “Mary Ann!”
And she knew He’d make her whole.

She picked up all the pieces
Of her shattered broken life
She laid them at the cross
Of her Savior, Jesus Christ.

This story isn’t over
Of the girl named Mary Ann
The reason for the hallway
She doesn’t understand.

She knows that when she prayed
When she was only ten
That God had been there with her
And brought her out again.

He had healed her of her sickness
As she prepared herself to die
He had helped her understand
The power of their lie.

It’s by His grace that she was saved.
With God she found a home.
Her silenced voice now speaking loudly
Through the hallway of this poem.

C. Ann S. 2004

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