…continued from The Home, Part 8
The Sisters piled us on a bus early on the morning of Father’s funeral and we headed to church downtown. It was a regular yellow school bus, tainted a bright orange in the morning sun with GUARDIAN ANGEL HOME in black letters painted across the side so that everyone in town knew we were orphans.
Many people honked as we rode through town, or craned their necks at the stop signal to get a peek at us, some waved. People in the outside world would do the same as they drove by the orphanage…
…continued from The Home, Part 7
There were a number of very old nuns who came through to help with the Little Girls. Some were sweet, filled with nothing but a desire to give everything their ancient hearts could muster. Others, like Sister C., ravaged by physical decay and a lifetime of giving, lost the spiritual war with their good side, allowing aching, aged bones to rule, where once they were lead by youthful vitality.
My rage was out in full force when one Sister G. arrived to help. She came occasionally to care for us when Sister M. was…
…continued from The Home, Part 6
Pierre — Part 2
In retrospect, Pierre seemed to be Sister’s escape from pain, loneliness, hard work and perhaps daily exposure to the effects of trauma on the little girls she cared for. Her own abuse was common practice in those days — it was an old world approach to child discipline and control that she more than likely experienced herself as a child.
Later in my life, I heard ideas about why Catholic nuns were so strict, sexual frustration being the most unkind theory that floated. …
Now available on Amazon! A collection of poetry I’ve posted on Medium from the beginning. Available as ebook and now available in paperback. Many thanks to all of the support I’ve received from Medium friends.
Spring is a free verse
the poet regales her pink
tulip daffodil crocus
a solo song
before the chorus of green
mired in dirt
shadow swaying on
her bombs bursting in
at her feet
throwing her babes
becomes one with hate in spring feast for the eyes beast for the nose take your medicine she’s a free verse a rough road to heaven constrained only by time her rhyme a kind of…
The name of the parakeet escapes me now. He was a minor character in my life, but an important one to Sister M. It may have been Pierre or Louie, something French, probably Pierre. Sister found him dead one summer day and allowed us to gather round and view him.
He lay stiff on the newspaper below his perch amidst a few last droppings of meal and poop, his little beak slightly open and his claws still curled a bit as if they were still clinging to the little round wooden dowel from which…
…continued from, The Home, Part 4
Mornings were busy, making our beds, brushing teeth, dressing, lining up for breakfast, then school on the second floor. The prayers I sent up the night before were always forgotten in the rush of my new morning ritual. Sister would walk down the aisle of beds clapping her hands loudly to wake us. Breakfast was usually cereal with milk, which was at least more palatable than liver in milk. And there were always reminders that we would never get such food where we came from. …
4. The Sacred Heart
There were times when we heard that my mother had called or asked about us and perhaps she would be allowed to take us one Sunday, but it didn’t always work out. She had a large cake delivered for my birthday, decorated like a piano, with keys and all — my heart leaped at the thought that she may have heard that I wanted to play. I had fallen in love with the old piano in the basement auditorium on which my older sister was getting lessons, but Sister M…
Shadows crawl upon the earth
In their prime
They rhyme with their masters
At some point
Then fade into dark night
Somewhere outside of town
Cars filled with passengers
Move down a highway at sunset,
Spilling a dark traveling companion
Into the winter white ditch along the road
Passing a farm
A child watches from out the back seat window
That cows show little concern
For the black form straddling their stride
In a frigid field on the farm
Only humans find
To be imitated by a day phantom.