Communion Slip

At seven, the thing that worried me most
(not host-choking…we’d practiced
with profane wafers, not to mention candy Neccos)
was that tulle slip under the lace and nylon skirt
of the sinless Communion dress
that cost a week’s salary. That erection of a slip
sticking out like a propeller
to loft the skirt in a frozen spin
around my worried thighs.

When I tried it on in the shop, it grated,
like Mom’s cheese gizmo
and I could not help wriggling
outside the dressing room
like a go-go girl under its abrasions
until Mom slapped me on the arm
and all the shoppers stared.

What if I sinned walking up the aisle,
just about to Receive – too late to confess –
would an emergency Hail Mary do the trick?

What if I tripped
and two whole rows of white-suited boys
sinned?

This is a reprint of work originally published in Verseweavers.

Catherine McGuire is a writer/artist with a deep interest in Nature, both human and otherwise. She’s had 3 decades of poetry in publications such as The New Verse News, FutureCycle Press, Portland Lights, Fireweed, and on a bus for Poetry In Motion. She has four chapbooks out: Palimpsests (Uttered Chaos) and three self-published (http://www.cathymcguire.com). Upcoming this year is a full-length book of poetry, Elegy for the 21st Century (FutureCycle Press), in October and a deindustrial science fiction novel, Lifeline (Founders House Publishing), in November.

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