Why I Remember (or Memories of a Catholic Schoolgirl)

I remember...

Because a lofty, cold sanctuary folded
her arms about me.
Because I thought heaven was just through
the choir room door.
Because the stillness enveloped me.
Because the Italian widow knelt at
each Station and prayed.
Because the confessionals forgave me.
Because there was Drama
as we proceeded to Communion.
Because the gold and blue plaid
grazed my knees.
Because I pondered on holy water and praying
the Dead out of Purgatory.
Because when I there God really listened to me.
Because there was a Saint for each day of the year.
Because the funeral incense haunted me.
Because we toured the house where the Sisters lived.
Because Sister Bernice was good to me.
Because she said almost everyone went to Heaven.
Because the Body and the Blood became real
with the sound of bells.
Because the nuns said that
Latin was not a Dead Language and warned us that
not enough Young Catholics were becoming
priests and nuns
And the liquor flowed freely from the
Beer Garden at Oktoberfest
And everyone played Bingo on Friday nights and
The Germans wore read on St. Patty's Day.
Because Dad married a Protestant
and never took Communion again.
Because now as I sit in a pew I mourn all these things...

I've forgotten.

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