The Weight of Catholicism
Where has the weight of guilt vanished?
Your black wool dragged on a nun in a sunny afternoon.
It roped around fasting waists.
It muttered Latin as it coughed incense.
It kneeled for hours counting crushed rose beads.
It was buoyant on rows of candles.
It was sculpted into clay Saints.
It choired soprano voices in Altar Boys.
It was delicate white in a Girl's first communion.
It cracked Michelangelo's back.
Today I went to Mass,
not looking for my religion.
No pews or stained glass greeted me.
Holy water cascaded down an electric fountain.
Checked for signs, made sure
I had not walked into another denomination.
The body of Christ on the crucifix reassured me.
As a jamboree clapped songs,
a young woman fed me the Eucharist.
I kneeled on blue polyester.
The rest of the congregation sat.
The weight of my body lay on my newly bruised knee.
The pain soared into my Hail Mary,
and I was Catholic again.
© Didi Menendez 2002