Good Friday at Hershey Park

Wandering through wonderland
with heretics and other heathen
misfits herding tiny idol-worshipers
onto Tilt-A-Whirls and Kiddie Whips,

my white-kneed daughters break toward
the carousel and straddle-leap each mount:
one horse purple, flanks flecked with ruby;
one horse pink with lips curled and teeth
bared to clench a single pearl;

the machinery grinds forward,
the cavalry bolts in time
to steam-whistle organ song -

They cut down the old pine tree....

It makes a mother dizzy and weak,
her own terrified face split back
spinning and slivered by ten-thousand
gold-mullioned mirrors; her own legs
stiff and cramped from genuflecting
three long hours, small fingers pressed together
in the prayer of sinful children

Will you please forgive me, Jesus,

though I don’t know what I’ve done?

even now, years away from incense choke
and falling and falling and falling,
watching You pushed down,
then finally pushed up that hill
by little girls with wicked minds
and little boys with wicked hearts.

My daughters whirl around, smiling wide;
they orbit into view then disappear -
up and down - today they race toward

.................thin arms outstretched to grab
brass rings they cannot reach, they wave
empty-handed, not knowing they should be
anything but pure delight; not knowing
anywhere but paradise today.



Unknown said...

That's a good bit of work, J. Not overreaching, just a teaser of anguish/guilt/fear. Not overwrought or complex to the point of absurdity. Some imagery that provoked for me a feeling of a snapshot of a moment on the edge of control; perhaps a glimpse of the future.
I finally googled 'halushki'. One of those tasty ethnic dishes created by impoverished European people who look in the cupboard and see, oh I don't know, maybe four ingredients at any time.
"Hey, Igor, do you you want to have lots of onions and just a little cabbage or do you want to have a lot of cabbage and just a little onions?'
"Hmmm - are we on for bridge tonight with the Skiskis, Olga?"
"Yes, Igor."
"Maybe, back off on the onions then."

That Dude said...

Yo cool blog, I came across it via Roxpublius. Ive been looking for Philly peeps to list so Ill list your unless its not cool.

foolery said...

I'm a pain in the ass, joking around on Twitter, but you're actually very talented, Miz J. Not coming from a Catholic background I get only half of the weight of each line, but it's beautiful nonetheless. Thanks for the link. : )

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