Pentecostal Girls

This a delightful poem with a wonderful feast of images using a striking economy of words. Good girls and bad girls make the journey fun. And the tension between what should be kept hidden and what may be exposed provides us with the kinds of secrets we love to think about.

Pentecostal Girls                                                                    Julie Buffaloe-Yoder


When it got too hot,

Pentecostal girls

went swimming

at the shore


in long white dresses,

sneakers on their feet,

braided hair covered

with bandanas.


From root to toenail,

their sins were

bound as tight

as the binding

on a new white Bible.


When us bad girls

came bouncing up

cute as hell

in silver hoops

and red bikinis,


the boys


couldn’t stop looking

at those Pentecostal girls


dripping salty sin,

laughing, splashing


flashing hints

of bra straps

and panties.


Satan herself

didn’t stand

a chance

against the saints

who had been


in the armor

of wet, hot cotton.



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