Sunday Mass

By JAN BALL

Embarrassed when she sees
her eight-year-old bend under the pew in front of
them to snatch the flats
of the kneeling lady who
must have slipped them off
as the church became
over-heated from the bodies
of hundreds of parishioners
in winter coats, Carol grabs
his pink ear and twists it
while the choir sings Sanctus,
Sanctus, just before the solemn
moment when Father O’Malley
consecrates the host and raises
it above his head for all
the congregation to adore.

When the last bell tinkles
to announce the arrival
of the Lord, Brian shouts out,
“Mom, don’t twist my ear.”

The church is silent.

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