Katherine Gallagher

(7 September 1935 - / Maldon / Australia)

Priests - Poem by Katherine Gallagher

Be especially polite,
don’t be alone with them, never kiss them,
my grandmother said. It was simple,
they were God’s chosen.

There they were, prized men
off in a country of their own,
(that problem of their always
having the answers).

Priests were special visitors,
there to bless the house or for
afternoon-tea: occasions for the Royal
Doulton, silver teapot and chocolate cake.

My mother fussed around, finding cake forks,
making sure the cloth was ironed —
always guarded:

that incident when she was seventeen
decorating the church, and Father Shaw
with his onion-spiker tooth
bending to kiss
her freshwater face.


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Poem Submitted: Saturday, May 5, 2012



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