Holy Moly by Wayne F. Burke

“some Catholics you kids are”
Grandma says
as she ushers us
out the door
palm Sunday
“Hurry! You are going to be late!”
We walk without haste
to the car
my sister drives
to the church
we climb concrete steps
to the yawning mouth
to the holy water fount
the pew
the stations of the cross
my sister,
her soul black
as soot,
leaves before mass begins,
the priest sits on a throne
his voice drones
my brother falls asleep
and I punch him,
to save his soul,
and he wakes
but instead of
thanking me
whips me
across the face
with a palm
on the way home.

Wayne F. Burke’s poetry has appeared in a variety of publications. His three published poetry collections, all from Bareback press, are WORDS THAT BURN, DICKHEAD, and KNUCKLE SANDWICHES. His chapbook PADDY WAGON is published by Epic Rites Press. He lives in the central Vermont area, USA.


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