Posted by jeresk on October 28, 2007 in My Mom's Poems |

I had forgotten where I was until

I opened the hotel window

and saw the grey Atlantic looking meek

but pounding and determined and inheriting the earth

all the same.

I looked at that forever horizon and thought strangely


The sister in black catholic burka

had a matching black mole on her chin

with a two and-a-half inch single hair protruding.

All of us in second grade dreamed

of pulling that hair.

And so I remember the hair and the burka

and her twacking us with a three-sided ruler

and opening the holy Baltimore catechism

so that we could memorize all the right answers

to the only questions allowed

and she allowed so very little as there was so very much

for our tiny sinning souls to memorize.

The sister’s sisters would speak in Gaelic

when they wanted a private conversation, magic

words that could not possibly mean anything

but magic because when they spoke in magic

we all noticed they would giggle and sometimes outright

laugh so it must be magic to make them forget

the ruler for just the time it took to giggle.

And it must be magic

because the only time I remember sister

being wistful was the once she talked of home,

of the green of County Cork and the wet and the smell

of the wet and how green green could be.

So.  Here I am.

The catechism so carefully fed to me I have digested.

And completed the digestive process.

Heaven is not in my path.

But Ireland.

I looked at the Atlantic and thought

Just over there.  East and a little to the North.

No so far as all that.

Green, I’ve heard, and clean and wet enough

to make a hard sister soft;

a place to be wistful of;

a place to turn towards and think



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