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Liz Martin, Deseret News archive
A chocolate pecan pie, foreground, and pumpkin pie prepared by Martha Moench for a class on holiday desserts at the Emporium kitchen at Thanksgiving Point in 2007.

The opening songs have been sung. It’s fast Sunday. Four babies have been named and blessed. We are visiting my cousin’s ward for the blessing of her new baby.

The restless child I am holding sleeps at last, but lightly. He grows heavier in my arm, yet to move might wake him.

To take my mind off my tired arms and the hardness of the seats, I let my eyes wander around the crowded chapel.

Seated in proper order, I see the organist seated at the organ on the far right of the stand. The dark-suited bishopric is in center front. The choir is at the back. A little to the left front, directly in front of me, is the chorister, a vivacious pretty woman who had led the singing with such joy in her voice and on her face that you knew she loved to sing.

The child in my arms stirs, his eyes start to open, and I gently rock him until they slowly close again.

A sudden movement catches my eye. The pretty chorister has raised her widespread hands to cover her face. As she slowly lowers her hands, her eyes are wide with a sudden horrific memory. Her hands continue to lower and she fixes her eyes further at the back of the chapel.

Upon getting his attention, her lips silently form the question: “Did you take the pie out of the oven?” Her shoulders rise and drop, her lips silently form the words, “neither did I.” Her eyes turn toward the ceiling and a deep sigh escapes, as she seems to envision a kitchen filled with black smoke.

She checks the clock on the wall at her right, then glances at her watch as though she hopes they might disagree on how much time has passed. On her fingers she calculates how long the pie has been baking and how much longer the meeting will last.

Again, her silent lips move as she glances to the back of the chapel again.

“It’s burning.”

Her shoulders rise and fall, this time in resignation. As there is a transition in the meeting, she again looks into the audience. She points first to herself then to the unseen conversationalist.

“Do you want me to go?” “You will? Thanks.” It’s all done in silence but her face shows great relief.

There is a rustling in the rear and the door softly swooshed closed as someone rushes out.

I wonder to myself, what kind of pie was it?

Verna Coy lives in the Centerville 7th Ward in Centerville, Utah.