To a claustrophobic, the confessional
was penance enough, she thought -
an upended coffin filled with rotting sins
and little more.

Fear’s dark clarity honed her senses;
she smelled the sweat of true believers,
the arrogance of hypocrites and
the heartbeat on the other side
of the little door, dull
and disinterested, waiting
for something more.

She thought then of a Sexton poem –
a dragonfly’s unapologetic un-apology,
and grinned.

“Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned, ”
she would begin, knowing
without hesitation, that she
would do so

by Christine Austin Cole

Comments (8)

Being a RC myself, I can appreciate the cynicism expressed here...great poem 10/10
OUTSTANDING poem! I give you a 10.
ha-ha, only a Catholic (or former Catholic) could write this....
They say once a Catholic, always a Catholic. Sure, maybe a lapsed Catholic, or drunken Catholic, or atheist Catholic. But still a Catholic. Very nice.
Indeed, she would sin again and again.....and again. She can not unknow what she knows - but does she really know she will sin again? does she really know she wiould LIVE to sin again? does she know that that day could be her last and that she would not have the occasion to sin anymore? does she know? Yes, fears dark clarity honed her senses, cluastrophobia makes her seek the open space, the fresh ain of a clean heart, and more. A truly remarkable poem, one that lives so firmly in the soul and makes us struggle to begin again and again even as we sin again and again. A 10+++
See More