Catholic School Mother
I loved her most
when she came home from school,
her backpack hanging from her shoulders,
plaid jumper stained with finger-paint
and smelling of crayons, Elmer's Glue,
and the school cafeteria. I'd go to where she sat
on the edge of the bed, her forehead
anointed with ashes, her small hands
wet with the memory of holy
water, unlace the black and
white saddle shoes, and squeeze her toes.
Then I'd open up her backpack and take
the whole day inside me--the uniformed
girls and their bow-tied brothers,
the voice of the teacher singing out
her welcome song. Neat rows of
upright torsos. The statues, the garden, exhausted
nuns still smiling in their street clothes, the church bells
clanging, and the long drive home.
Sharon Fedor has spent her professional career as teacher and mentor in Special Education, engaging students who are fascinating and unique while promoting the joy of discovery. She writes poetry and fiction. Her work has been published in Napalm and Novocain, Halfway Down the Stairs, Spellbound, The Camel Saloon, and The Moon Magazine (online), in Point Mass, Legends, Conversation with a Christmas Bulb, and in the 2013 Best of Anthology, Storm Cycle. She is the second place winner of the 2014 Zero Bone Poetry Prize (Port Yonder Press).