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Passions in Poetry

First Communion

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Robert E. Jordan
Member Rara Avis
since 01-25-2008
Posts 8544
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


0 posted 03-16-2008 01:09 AM       View Profile for Robert E. Jordan   Email Robert E. Jordan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to Submit your Poem to Passions  View IP for Robert E. Jordan

We’re in second grade.  
We gotta go get special structions
down the basement Saint Michael’s Church,
so we can take first communion
with the kids going Saint Michael’s School.

We go to public school,
where they call us cat lickers,
which really sucks
because we have to hit them
when they call us that
and some, are big and mean.

Mom says we gotta hit them anyway
or we’ll go to hell when we die.  
Mom says I have to “Defend the faith
against Protestants or any type of heathen
that might make fun of Holy Mother Church.”

We’re a little lucky though
cause the kids going to Saint Michael’s
get hit all the time
we hear about it in public school
we get hit too but not like at Saint Michael’s.

School’s not much fun anywhere.

Sister Walburga’s our teacher.  
She’s all right and very old
she talks nice to us
doesn’t get mad when we make mistakes
practicing taking Holy Communion.

She tells us it’s the Body and Blood
of Jesus Christ.  It really is you know.  
Tells us all about the miracle of
TRANSUBSTANIATION
and makes us learn to spell the word.

Sister gets us ready for first confession,
where we have to tell Father John
all the nasty stuff we’ve done
since we were born.

She tells us to make a list, write it down,
and take it with us when we go confession
Friday afternoon, before our first
holy communion.

Sister takes us up the Church
so’s we can tell Father John what we did.

Fred’s the first to go in the booth,
he doesn’t seem too worried
comes out and walks out of the Church
as cool as ever.  Nothing ever bothers Fred.

Charlie, our black friend goes in next
comes out in a little while smiling says
“It’s okay.”

Ralph goes in next,
he’s in there a long time,
comes out crying,
runs out the Church.

I think, “Whoa, Jesus Christ Ralph,
what the hell did you do anyway?”  
Maybe I should just get up and leave now.

I’m next to go sit the booth,
Father John sits behind the little latticed door.
After Ralph coming out like that,
I’m as nervous as hell.

I tell Father John about swearing at Mom,
he says that’s a bad thing to do,
I must never do it again.

Then I tell him about stealing money
from Ralph’s Mom’s change purse
when she has me over to eat.

He says that’s bad too,
he doesn’t want me to steal from people
that are trying to be nice.

Then I tell him about how
I sometimes get hungry,
steal apples, and bananas
from Mr. Schmitt’s fruit stand.

He says that not too bad
that I have an obligation to take care
of the body that God gave me.

I think he’s softening up,
so I tell him about that time with
the man in the garage, what he did to me.  
I tell him all about it.

He makes some noise back there, says
“Holy Mother of God.”,
and then doesn’t say anything for a while.

Finally, he tells me
I didn’t do anything bad.  
All the sin was on the man,
it wasn’t my fault at all.

He mentions something about millstones
around the bad man’s neck
that I don’t quite catch.

Father John asks if there is anything else,
I want to tell him.

“No”

He tells me God forgives my sins.  
I have to go say three hail Marys
and one Our Father for my penance,
because I swore at my Mother,
and stole money from Ralph’s Mom.  

Then he asks me to pray for him.

I feel better and relieved, like a new person.

Some of those things
had worried me for a long time,
but I’m Ok now.

Sunday morning,
Mom gets me all scrubbed up,
decks me out in shiny new shoes and socks,
white pants, and a brand new white shirt.

She’s been saving her money from tips.  
She gives me a Rosary to hold between my hands,
and trots me off to Mass
with the rest of the kids.

After Mass,
Mom takes me over to Ralph’s place
with Fred and Charlie.  
We have a party with cake and soda.  
We can eat now.

I’m pure and holy,
and feel about as good as
I’ve ever felt about myself.

Bobby
© Copyright 2008 Robert E. Jordan - All Rights Reserved
Marchmadness
Member Rara Avis
since 09-16-2007
Posts 8010
So. El Monte, California


1 posted 03-16-2008 01:44 AM       View Profile for Marchmadness   Email Marchmadness   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Marchmadness

I am glad you were able to tell someone about what happened to you, Bobby. I think maybe that was a kind of therapy that helped you to become the man you are today.
                                  Ida
Alison
Deputy Moderator 5 ToursDeputy Moderator 1 TourDeputy Moderator 1 TourDeputy Moderator 1 Tour
Member Rara Avis
since 01-27-2008
Posts 9055
Lumpy oatmeal makes me crazy!


2 posted 03-16-2008 03:15 AM       View Profile for Alison   Email Alison   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alison

Some of your poetry hurts to read - but I believe it is important to write and talk and read about things that sometimes hurt - I am glad that the priest was kind.  I am glad that you have (and had) your church.

A
oceanvu2
Senior Member
since 02-24-2007
Posts 1007
Santa Monica, California, USA


3 posted 03-16-2008 03:16 AM       View Profile for oceanvu2   Email oceanvu2   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for oceanvu2

Don't know if this is autobiographical or not.  Don't care.  Doesn't matter.  The balance of the mundane and the unthinkable equals one powerful piece.

Been admiring your work for some time, and occasionally, not often enough, expressing same.  Your ability to work in the vernacular and the compression, especially in the Felix pieces, is amazing.

I don't know what anyone might make of you if reading for the first time.  I do know that hitting the "find poems" and spending a few hours with you provides a great insight into craft and power.

Best, Jim Aitken
JamesMichael
Member Empyrean
since 11-16-1999
Posts 31622
Kapolei, Hawaii, USA


4 posted 03-16-2008 04:15 AM       View Profile for JamesMichael   Email JamesMichael   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JamesMichael

Fine writing...James
Margherita
Member Seraphic
since 02-08-2003
Posts 21103
Eternity


5 posted 03-16-2008 10:03 AM       View Profile for Margherita   Email Margherita   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Margherita

Sigh, Bobby!!
Can't even tell how much this one touches me ... I'm kind of "stuck" because of the memories this brought.

Thank you.

Love,
Margherita
Artic Wind
Member Rara Avis
since 09-16-2007
Posts 8075
Realm of Supernatural


6 posted 03-16-2008 10:41 AM       View Profile for Artic Wind   Email Artic Wind   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Artic Wind

Everyone said it all! Bobby..



ARCTIC WIND
Joyce Johnson
Deputy Moderator 1 TourDeputy Moderator 1 Tour
Member Patricius
since 03-10-2001
Posts 10059
Washington State


7 posted 03-16-2008 10:51 AM       View Profile for Joyce Johnson   Email Joyce Johnson   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Joyce Johnson

Powerful writing.  I still think you need to put them in a book.  Joyce
Robert E. Jordan
Member Rara Avis
since 01-25-2008
Posts 8544
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


8 posted 03-16-2008 12:54 PM       View Profile for Robert E. Jordan   Email Robert E. Jordan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Robert E. Jordan

Ida,

Yes, that’s the nice thing about what is now called “The Sacrament of Reconciliation”.  It cleans out a lot of garbage.

Bobby
Robert E. Jordan
Member Rara Avis
since 01-25-2008
Posts 8544
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


9 posted 03-16-2008 12:58 PM       View Profile for Robert E. Jordan   Email Robert E. Jordan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Robert E. Jordan

Alison,

Thanks for the kind comments.  The Church has always done a lot for me.

Bobby
Robert E. Jordan
Member Rara Avis
since 01-25-2008
Posts 8544
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


10 posted 03-16-2008 01:04 PM       View Profile for Robert E. Jordan   Email Robert E. Jordan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Robert E. Jordan

Dear Jim Aitken,

That's one of the nicest comments I've ever gotten for my work.

Yes, this piece is autobiographical, as are a lot of my other writings.

Thanks for your kind words.

Bobby
Robert E. Jordan
Member Rara Avis
since 01-25-2008
Posts 8544
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


11 posted 03-16-2008 01:06 PM       View Profile for Robert E. Jordan   Email Robert E. Jordan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Robert E. Jordan

James,

Thanks for your kind words.  I'm happy that you like it.

Bobby
Robert E. Jordan
Member Rara Avis
since 01-25-2008
Posts 8544
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


12 posted 03-16-2008 01:08 PM       View Profile for Robert E. Jordan   Email Robert E. Jordan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Robert E. Jordan

Dear Margherita,

I hope this did not bring up bad memories for you.  Thanks for letting me know it touched you.

Love Bobby
Robert E. Jordan
Member Rara Avis
since 01-25-2008
Posts 8544
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


13 posted 03-16-2008 01:11 PM       View Profile for Robert E. Jordan   Email Robert E. Jordan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Robert E. Jordan

Dear Artic Wind,

I'm very pleased that you liked this piece.

Bobby
Robert E. Jordan
Member Rara Avis
since 01-25-2008
Posts 8544
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


14 posted 03-16-2008 01:13 PM       View Profile for Robert E. Jordan   Email Robert E. Jordan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Robert E. Jordan

Joyce,

Thanks for the kind words.  This one is basically the same as one in my first book "City Boy Stays Alive".

Bobby
Earl Brinkman
Senior Member
since 03-03-2010
Posts 1185
Osaka, Japan


15 posted 12-11-2010 07:32 AM       View Profile for Earl Brinkman   Email Earl Brinkman   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Earl Brinkman

I read this before in `City Boy Stays Alive`. ----  I remember my first confession and how I cried after it was over.  I also remember my Ma telling me that if I died at that moment that I would go straight to Heaven.
 
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