Laura Jensen
1969 Autumn - A Catechism Textbook
                    Luther wrote Luther's Small Catechism
                    and also posted his 95 theses on a door
                    at a church in Wittenburg, Germany
                    and began the Reformation
                    Ephemerae - Ephemerid - A May Fly - lasting only a day
                    U of Washington databases display ephermerae - dittoed
                    posters and announcements of political concern from the
                    1960s and 1970s

          The old brick art building faced on the University of Washington quad, grass with brick paths and a ringing chime.  On the brick path that approached the quad was a new building - floors of studio classrooms - for art.  Old and new shared a corner stairwell. 
          That autumn Laura Jensen lost track of time.  One day she was late to class. The art building stairwell was empty.  The new hallway was still.  Along the pale hallway through each open doorway a floor the color of cement led to white light of windows that reached to the high ceiling.
          Students in her classroom at easels made gestures of marks along pages.  The young teacher, who was the color of day, regarded Laura Jensen as she sat down.
          Your father was here.
          Her father had been there.  He had.  He was at the University in the 1920s.  Now it was 1969, her father was sixty-seven.  She thought the teacher knew her father, about her father's years there.
          My father?
          He was looking for you.
          Oh.  Her father had been on campus.  She was not in class.  Laura could picture her father, dark suit, tie, a raincoat he wore to the pharmacy.  The Greyhound bus went to Seattle, the Seattle bus went to campus.
          When Laura Jensen was a freshman she invited Aunt Lil and Uncle Fred to lunch at the dorm.  She watched from the glass doors of the foyer, then went outside.  There they were at one end of another wing, stepping stone by stone to an emergency exit.
          She waved to them
          Packages they mailed each Christmas had flattened curling ribbon on them.  They attended her confirmation.  The Kennedy assassination from the Autumn was far away, far from Luther's Small Catechism.
          What is prayer?
          Prayer is the communion of our heart with God.
          In 1936 when Laura Jensen's grandfather died in a residence hotel, Fred Jensen testified for the death certificate.
          What was his mother's name?  It had been thirty years since Fred's mother died.  Maybe Fred did not remember his mother's name.  Or maybe he did not understand the question.
          What was the wife's name?
          Married?  Fred's father was not married.
          Marie.  The clerk's typewriter typed down.
          He got the photographs.  He got his mother's prayer dook.  It was in Danish with her name on it.  Andrea carried the prayer book to the United States.  The prayer book knew about itself.  Andrea, it said.
          Christina and Jens were baptised in Iowa, in the records of a Lutheran church.  Andrea died. Theodore was four and a half.  Then their father made their bread.  They were not confirmed.  Not Christina, not Jens, not Fred, not Theodore.  There was no Small Catechism for them.
          Your father was here.
          Her father had been there.  He had.  He was at the University in the 1920's.
          My father?
          He was looking for you.
          Her father had been on campus.  The Greyhound bus went to Seattle.  The Seattle bus went to campus, to the hole nine stories deep draped in torn plastics in front of the Suzallo library where lawns and paths used to be.
          1969 Summertime yellow equipment rolled onto the lawn and started the hole.  Autumn 1969 the yellow equipment was deep, deep below.
          The plywood fence around the hole was posted with Students for a Democratic Society, SDS, Angela Davis and Ralph Nader and Caesar Chavez information, dittoed on 8 1/2 by eleven pages of pink white blue, yellow.  The plywood was painted with peace graffiti.  Students in dark coats glanced through the viewing holes across at peace graffiti spray-pained on the plywood fence's insides, too.
          She waited in class in case her father came back to the art building.
          Back at the rooming house she put a coin into the large pay phone attached to the second floor wall and heard her mother's voice long distance.