How To Be a Lapsed Catholic | Jackie Fox

When you’re five,
long to be a nun.
Cry when you find out
you’re going to public school.

Take First Communion.
Swallow Light.

Go through Confirmation,
where Light deserts you.
Wonder what you did wrong.
Wear the lace doily on your head.
Mumble in Latin.

Tell your mom when you’re 12
you’re not sure you believe.
She says neither is she.
Start skipping Mass.

Crave the T-shirt labeled
“Recovering Catholic,”
but fear it might offend someone.

Wonder what happened
to all those souls in Limbo
when the Church decided
Limbo no longer exists.

Avoid churches
unless someone gets married or dies.

Try to practice kindness.
Give thanks in your car.

Jackie Fox lives and writes in Omaha, Nebraska. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including Bellevue Literary Review, Rattle, Ted Kooser’s American Life in Poetry, The Untidy Season: An Anthology of Nebraska Women Poets, and the Alice in Wonderland Anthology.  Her work is forthcoming in Parts of the Whole: Poetry About the Body and Bared, an anthology of bras and breasts. She studied poetry writing in the low residency MFA program at the University of Nebraska.


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