Pamela Mordecai

from “The Story of Nellie”

Nellie’s going
to confession.
Thinks her soul
is full of sin.

How she hates
the stuffy box
musty curtain
wire netting

and the priest
who has no face
only ears for her

But this time
Father is gentle
tells her kindly
of God’s love

tells her that
obedient children
always go
to heaven above.

Says that over
in the rectory
there is a
splendid book

full of prayers
and bible stories—
she should come
and have a look.

And he puts
his arm around her
on her way
to be his guest

and he hugs her
and massages
just one

pam photo

 from The True Blue of Islands, Sandberry Press 2005