Oct/Nov 2007 Poetry

Two Poems

by Teresa White

My Last Confession

I learned to say confession before
I knew the word named guilt.
Every Saturday I'd line up

with the others in pious respect
or at least as much as a child
of eight can show

while waiting to enter
the small curtained box
of the confessional

the sliding screen sounding
like a squeegee across silk
ready to imprint
each and every thought

for I wanted to be good
and march straight on into heaven
right past purgatory, on past
all the Stations of the Cross

the Seven Seas, the frozen North
the numberless space
the deepest blue
the wings
the wings
one folded over the other.


Candling Eggs at the Orphanage

Months have passed.
There is no such thing
as idleness.

Promptly, at four o'clock,
I head across the playground
to an old stone shed.

There they are in a bucket
of straw, plucked from under
brooders by another child.

I take them, one by careful
one, and hold them under a running
tap of tepid water until all the shit is gone.

Sometimes I get impatient
and the eggs collapse
in my hands,

the yolks so many peach halves
suddenly liquefying
to swirl down the drain.

When thoroughly washed
and patted dry, I set them
in a little box of light.

How like magic, I can see their insides.
On the lookout for that spot of blood,
that reminder, that if left alone

the chick might emerge
into the world and sing its song.


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