First Communion 1960, By Tim Dunne

First Communion 1960
By Tim Dunne

The white suit, shorts, socks,
made proud, by mum,
rough to the touch.
Holy, pure,
Like you.

Dim in the fog of the Sacred Heart’s
pungent incense,
you kneel, awed in belief,
eyes fixed on the hanging saviour,
the sight of whose suffering
a reminder of the sins
of your seven years.

First time at the altar rail.
Dominus Vobiscum
Et cum spirit tuo

The sounds of the Latin Mass
unknowable, familiar,
your responses learnt by heart.

Confession yesterday
in the dusky tabernacle
with the cloistered priest.
Your sins confessed,
you passed that test,
Sin free, grace-full,
to kneel at the altar rail
and taste the wafer, divine.

‘The body of Christ’ inside,
You rise, ‘Amen’.
Fierce in your faith
your halo, a hello
to the communion of the church.

Glowing with grace.
you step away from
this First Communion,
an innocent saved,
and ready to face a world of sin,
solely pure in your
white suit, shorts and socks.

communion pic

Tim Dunne has now taught English and Drama for more than 40 years. At first in the North West of England, then North Wales and for the past seven years abroad, first in Saudi Arabia and now in Azerbaijan. Home though, is up in the mountains of Snowdonia in the beautiful Croesor valley, where he lives with his wife, Bev, daughter Phoebe, six cats and one dog. Though now legally a pensioner, he has no intention of retiring just yet.

Editor’s note: Tim’s poem will appear in a new release by Red Wolf Editions, Time Is A River Without Banks, an Ekphrastic Poetry edition. If you wish to submit, you can do so by end February 2019. Submit to Submission guidelines here.

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