Preparing for Confirmation, April ‘65
“Time to prepare to be a soldier of Christ”.
Confused, anxious, I wonder at it all.
“A soldier, a warrior, but I’m not a boy!”
And a Holy Ghost to descend, tides of tears fall.
In class and evening instruction after school
Nuns swish through the halls with regimented zeal.
Cloaked crusaders, planning their perennial campaign.
Darkness and dread uninvited and real.
“God help you all if you fail the final test”
For the Archbishop might wield his un-holy hand
A fighter in tears, what good would that be?
Holy Mary, “please don’t let him pick me!”
I slink inside my miniscule self, silence saturates the air.
It was our fate, our spiritual destiny, never to question.
Scream, no soldiers, no ghosts welcome anywhere here.
“I’m nine, a girl, my only wish, a life without fear.”
Our Suburban Riviera
Red tiles bake, their border glistens
On the open porch.
Plump honey bees
Visit summer-long among the Dahlias.
The emerald lawn a backdrop
To butterflies dancing their fairy reels.
Discarded books and newspapers
Rest amongst the threadbare cushions.
Memories gather in the night scented air.
A lifelong jewel, our Riviera.