Clifton King

Rookie (December 24,1943 / Long Beach, California)

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Neighborhood Boys

— for Jimmy, Brian and Richard

There were four of us: good Catholic boys.
Our mothers sent us to church each Sunday
to sit in polished oak pews, to kneel and stand,
repeat prayers on cue, like performing some ancient
pagan ritual. They sent us to church to confess
our sins, say penance and receive the holy host
of communion. But, because we were boys,

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