St. Mary's III


joseph a. dandurand

"next time, young man,
you will shovel until morning
mass is over. do you understand?"

"yes, Father."

"good. now carry on."

st. mary's res school.
catholics with a vengence for extracting
the severest of all confessions from
little indians.

"hey, muh."   no answer.

"hey, muh."


"you save any bread from breakfast?"


"can I have a piece?"


a small hand,
breaks a piece of bread in half
and passes it to another small hand,
the hand of a savage.

"thanks, muh."

winter on the west coast.
laughter in the trees away from the school.
they're playing a game of tag.

"you're it."
"you're it."
"no way."
"you're it."
"no way."

everyone hiding.
black robes appear.
a bible in hand.
a cigarette in the other.
brother john.
his big belly rumbles.
not enought bread for breakfast.
lights the smoke.
blows it into the coolness of the winter morning.
no laughter.
brown eyes staring through the wet trees.
branches swing with cold wind.
brother john smokes his smoke.
unaware of the children.
unaware of the eyes upon him.
he begins to whistle.
he stops.
he puffs.
he exhales.
he stamps his feet.
his big belly bounces up and down.
a child giggles.
the other children place their hands around the giggling child's mouth.
rumbling of a big belly.
need more bread.
need more bread.
cigarette stamped out.
black robes walks away.
giggling child pulls away from the others.

"you're it."
"you're it."

From looking into the eyes of my forgotten dreams, Kegedonce Press.
© 2000 Joseph A. Dandurand. Ordering information.