Wednesday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
She looks around with calm curiosity,
her pink-flavored Dum Dum in her mouth,
this little girl with her daybreak eyes and evening skin
sitting on the walnut wooden kneelers
like a princess on her steed.
Suddenly, she’s on her tiptoes in the pew,
her arms folded like she’d seen grown-ups do,
lollipop stick hanging from her lips in a comically mobster way
as she watches the priest at the altar with interest,
clinking around with his golden tea set.
Her hair had been gathered lovingly into little
poofs on top of her head, tied with nostalgic
clear plastic beads and bands.
She wears tiny jeans, a shirt emblazoned with
beautiful across it in silver, matching tiny sparkly shoes.
She pulls the shrinking lollipop out of her mouth,
rubs it on her shirt and offers it
to her grandmother, who politely declines, takes
crumpled Kleenex out of her pocket and wipes
the little girl’s hands.
I am enraptured by this little one, no more than
two years old, now holding the hymnal upside down
in intense concentration. I’m sorry, Father Lou,
I promise I do care what you have to say
about Elijah, but today, I am captivated
by God’s homily as she extends her soggy,
chewed-up paper lollipop stick to her grandmother,
chirping, All done.
Originally published in Ekstasis Magazine