“On Comparing Photos of Our Holy Communion” by Liz Dolan

I sit, age five, legs crossed, sprite-like, in my sisters’ hand-me-down,
bodice, puffed sleeves revived by satin ribbon.
On the cover of my prayer book, the drape of Jesus’ garment shields
two innocents like grace.

Years later, my sister, chubby-cheeked, kneels
in ruffled white nylon, her eyes already old.
Why didn’t we pass the thrice-blessed dress on to her?
In my giddiness in the May twilight did I forget its fragility,
as I hid under a parked Ford to avoid a ring-a-leavio dungeon?
Did we forget her? Too young, she knows a stranger’s smile false
and a black-veiled nun cruel.

On a screen, Christ floats, fingering the bread of life.
Like a Fourth of July sparkler, He flickers
behind her head.

 

 

Liz Dolan is a wife, mother, grandmother, and retired English teacher.  She is most proud of the alternative school she ran in the Bronx. She has seven grandchildren who live on the next block. Liz has published poems, memoir and short stories in New Delta Review, Nidus, Rattle, Pedestal, Ginbender, Mudlark and other journals. She has received many grants from the Delaware Division of the Arts and is currently implementing a grant by organizing a traveling poetry exhibit throughout southern Delaware.

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