Table of Contents

Where We Grew Up: A Cyber Chapbook

Small Game Collector

Afraid of the Smudge

Where We Grew Up


Small Town Sex Education

August in Escalon


Something About the Author

Poetry Home Page

Quill email image


Ironically, it's a nun who
orders mother to purchase
my first pair of high heels,
nylons, the superfluous bra,
rubber straight-jacket girdle.
She tells me the vulnerable priest
needs these reminders to adorn
my pudgy, twelve year old body
so he won't succumb
to overwhelming desire.

I stare at sister's drab habit,
imagine life beneath black cloth,
visualize her spartan cell,
untouched breasts, utilitarian panties.
I sit, listen in confusion,
ponder threats of hell
and her Catholic warnings.

Mother gleefully chooses
my size 15 tent dress:
two tones of heifer plaid
with immense rhinestone buttons.
I redden, sweat toward adulthood
within tight elastic.

When my turn comes to be confirmed,
I stumble forward on command,
down the church aisle
dividing our class
into isolate genders.
Trembling and filled
with a devout sense of faith,
I kneel, receive a slap
from a man wearing skirts.

c2002, Jennifer Lagier