This morning while writing [bad] poetry just for the challenge of doing it, I almost made myself late for the St. Patrick’s Day luncheon at the senior hall. You can’t be late for those events if you want to sit at a table facing the entertainment. The luck of the Irish was with me and I scored a chair up front at a table that turned out to be The Catholic table. Of the eight people sitting there I was the only one who didn’t have a Catholic school girl tale to tell. Nationality, of course, came up as we enjoyed our corn beef and cabbage and when the others heard I’m half Italian one of them questioned how I escaped being Catholic.
I told them the story of a time when my dad was eight years old and a Catholic priest, while teaching Sunday school, thought my dad had thrown a spitball. So the priest opened the doors on a potbelly stove, picked my dad up by the seat of his pants and the collar of his shirt and pretended he was going to throw Dad in to teach him about the fires of hell where bad boys go. After that my dad refused to go back there and while his siblings continued growing up Catholic my dad was sent off to the only other church in town, a Methodist. One of the ladies at the table, in a deadly serious tone said, “Why, that wasn’t very Christian of the priest!” About the third time she said it and someone else agreed that "it wasn’t, indeed, very Christian of him" I was laughing so hard I could have peed my pants, but it's difficult to explain why it struck me funny. I guess you had to be there to hear the Captain Obvious quality of her shocked sensibilities. "What was the priest's name?" "Where was the church?" You would have thought the incident happened last Sunday. Note to self: Don't tell stories about child abusing priests while sitting at a table full of Catholics.
My husband was proud of his Irish heritage and St. Patrick’s Day was always a special holiday for him. He’d put on his green tee-shirt, dig out the green, plastic beads and tell a few jokes using an Irish brogue. We’d find parties to go to when we could and he brought green flowers to his mother when she was alive. Every year we'd watch for shamrock plants to appear in the store so we could bring one home and in the spring we'd "turn it loose" outside. Monday at the grocery store I saw a display of shamrocks in the plant & garden center and for the first time in decades, I didn’t buy one. And I’m at peace with that. ©
My Dog Poem (Inspired by a comment on my last blog entry)
Outside a rabbit sits still in the early light of day
Past the empty chair that once held her spouse.
And in the murky kitchen light she stands wating
As hot, steaming liquid spits out a single serving.
Cup in hand the widow sits down at her keyboard