Clifton Redmond

(7-4-1982 / Carlow)

First confession


When we were six years old
innocent to life’s evil
partial to youthful mischief
ignorant to confession

Our teacher one day told us
to go to the parish priest
for our first confession of sin
perhaps then we may start anew

We made our way
down the long lane
the granite stone twinkled
bathed in the sunlight

Our round faces shining
awash with innocence
merriment and folly
was our need and endeavour

Our voices rose unchallenged
upon the breast of early spring
captured by the hour
marching like an army of ants

We were free and untamed
broken from the drudge
the dragging soulless feet
of a never ending school day

The lane neared its end
as in the distance stood with pride
the great spire of the chapel, reaching
our freshened cheeks enchanted in awe

As the parish priest stood waiting
hands squeezed tightly by his side
upon his face a venomous stare
sternly with open eyed fierceness

From his obsidian eyes grew
a most daring scornful stare
draped in his ebony shroud
that hung from an ivory noose

Our mad stomp abruptly stopped
we were free no more
the fresh gleam had frozen
as he led us like lambs to slaughter

We filed in slowly and frightened
the church of god was vast
washed in an eerie silence
a dead chill laid upon the air

The bile consuming scent
of burned out candle smoke
still frozen in their waxen pools
ghosts whispering in the vestry

Asked to confess for innocent sins
kicking dogs or apples stolen
twenty five years since I have been
now many confessions I could have told

Submitted: Friday, July 05, 2013
Edited: Sunday, October 13, 2013

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  • Martin Meyler (8/31/2013 3:13:00 AM)

    Such an innocent piece, brings back those memories, i like the way you wirte from the eyes of this children (Report) Reply

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