Poetry: Jack Walsh
Neither Forsaken nor Forgotten
(or, Remembrances of all things Mass)
Today I went to Mass to pray,
So long ago I left this way.
I didn’t go to speak with Christ,
Or God, his Father who had him iced.
Instead I went to feel what’s in it,
To resonate with the Holy Spirit.
I remembered as a boy I’d say,
I’ll play guitar at Mass someday,
I did it for a while that year,
But couldn't overcome stage fear.
Memories flood of Gregorian Chants,
Of nuns without pants and infinite “cants”.
I dare not forget Sister Paula’s awful rants:
“I’m suspending you,” she said,
As she thumped the wall, with my head.
Oppressive was the moral teaching,
I couldn’t follow what they were preaching.
But then again, something drew me,
Serving 6am mass, everyone knew me.
And while serving Christmas Mass, with Richie Verity,
Catching a sideways glance from Debbie Gerrity.
To hold the brass host-catcher to her chin,
Hoping someday her heart I would win,
Or, perhaps, that of her lovely twin.
But after walking in and sitting,
The silence comforting and fitting,
I remember now just what it was,
Not the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus.
Christmas Mass and Easter, too,
There was deep reverence in every pew,
And family threaded throughout the church,
Where I knew I’d never be left in a lurch.
Attending Mass as a young boy,
Was much more than pretending joy.
It was about peace, family and community,
And a deeper spiritual unity.
It occurs to me I’m not forsaken,
The opportunity is mine to be taken.
To God, I remember, I’m not forgotten,
It’s only me who thought I was rotten.