A delicate silver cross dangles in her secret slice where nuns prayed over, no lad venture until such proper time that he morph into a man goodly intended. Light is reachable with fingers, soft and sliding. Trees close in over the road and darken earth. Dappled light is heaven on man’s road is it not. Well-intended eyes gaze at her. Does he know she holds beads in her fists tightly wrapped? Hail Mary’s whispered in the heat of day. These are not for football. When I was little, I watched the priests. I wanted to sit on their blue velvet thrones. Maybe Jesus would notice my tears if I sat up higher. He was so sad. I couldn’t walk in that place without crying. Why did he have to stay on the crucifix for me to look at. He was in my heart. A symbol of love for the person sitting next to you, near you, below you, above… Did ‘they’ want me to cry at this monolithic cross hanging from the ceiling. Who put him up there like that? I didn’t like them. I believed back then, Jesus was Italian. We sit down to a nice spaghetti dinner and he smiles with teeth so brilliant they dapple the white linen table cloth mama laid to impress him. We break bread. The garlic makes Jesus sneeze a little, but he swallows and thanks mama anyway. Everyone in my life and near me and around me today–garlic bread. Warm. I remember too, passing out in the heat. I think it was on the tenth Hail Mary. I went down like a sack of flour. No pasta with that. Back then choices were plain black and white like Sister Maryanne’s habit. She also had another habit of riding a bicycle during recess and laughing. Once we all saw her underwear. This was an accidental viewing. Blustery day like Winnie the Pooh. I don’t know where she went off to after that. (This is a work of fiction sort of). I don’t go to church anymore. I think I stopped praying a long time ago. Love is a dappled thing that makes man’s road look pretty. Despite the nuns’ warnings, men happened and I happened upon them. I lied in the confessional too.
Penance. Try living blissfully each day.
sketched last year, while on break subbing a middle school social studies class (never ever math)