The schoolgirl

I am not at home.
How white my bed sheets are.
My small bed seeps dreams,
The moon is bare in trees,
It has no face or mouth;

Nor the schoolroom clock,
Parts, bits, cogs.
Departures, departures, the track
Of time empties white into a distance
Tap. Tap. Tap. I find myself waiting.

I am a pulse, a rehearsal attends me
Like a nurse; she is flatness, a dead socket.
I sit at my desk with cold angels, I saw
Their death in a holy book.
As I read, it emptied itself of its promise.

I remember the minute when I knew for sure,
I could see the dangers coming for me, I saw
My world in it— small, mean and black.
Every word hooked to every other word
Like swarms of fish, swaddled in a cold sea.

I was not ready. I thought I could deny the
Consequences. The nun stitched her beliefs
Into me like a rare organ, I did not look.
Terrible students injure me with their white eyes.
I hold my fingers up in prayer, ten pickets leaking

From the cracks in my soul. It widens and dies
In a room papered with psalms. They are not quiet.
Let us make a heaven, they say. Darkness hoods
Me in blue, like the virgin. I am engulfed and drown
In a religion. Can nothing be so prodigal?

Copyright © 05/31/2019 lance sheridan®

The schoolgirl

35 comments on “The schoolgirl

  1. lampmagician says:

    Deep and deeper and as always the deepest. Thank you, dear friend, Lance. for another swirl in my soul 🙂 🙏

  2. “Can nothing be so prodigal?”
    Excellent question. If only the nuns knew…
    Again, you give me so much to ponder. 🙏🏻

  3. Lance, your poetry is so beautiful, I wonder how, when I think I found the most lovely you astound me with words as amazing as these.

  4. rabirius says:

    Brilliant poem, again!

  5. Oh, Lance, my friend, I see such religious remorse in this beautiful poem. I’ve been there. Many times. Christian Science, Evangelical Christian, Universalism, Buddhism, and on and on and on. Now, near the end of my days, I see beauty in each of these. I do not believe them. It takes an incredible poem with marvelous imagery like yours to remind me why.

    • Barbara, your wonderful feedback is an invaluable source of inspiration, my friend. I’m truly grateful for your thoughts and views on life and how you relate it to my writing. Thank you!

  6. Your poem is an excellent demonstration of the sympathetic imagination. I believed it.

  7. Beautiful poem reflections of a child who has clear vision and understanding. A child who sees those around her who bring danger and hatred of her being different they are cold fallen angels and nuns who enforce their beliefs like engraving it onto the children’s being. The whiteness of her home symbolises safety and purity. The girl prays for deliverance from this part of her life.

  8. Rashi Singh says:

    Brilliant poem! Thought-provoking read.

  9. Heartbreaking. Not only are your poems beautiful, Lance, you always manage to find illustrations that enhance them.

  10. madmegsblog says:

    This is both beautiful and perplexing. Thank you! It’s stuck in my head…in a good way.

  11. Tamara Nika says:

    Your descriptive verses are splendid, thought provoking, and open up other worlds and dimensions to me; it is an adventure to read your poetry!

  12. Susi Bocks says:

    “I remember the minute when I knew for sure,
    I could see the dangers coming for me, I saw
    My world in it— small, mean and black.”

    When innocence and vulnerability changes, such a pivotal moment in our lives! This was lovely, Lance!

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