POETRY
Catholic
by Karen Vande Bossche

I wanted to become a Catholic, especially when I was in Spain,
where all girls are named Mary and all boys Jose.
I wanted to say the rosary as many times and with as many
Hail Marys as an all knowing Father would give.  On my
knees on the floor so it hurt.

And the Catholics have the best churches.  There are small
whitewashed ones in Oxaca, but so many ornate ones in Spain
and Italy where there is always some saint in a glass box
his clothes still perfect but his face sunken and covered
in a burnt orange-brown leather.

But I was raised Methodist:  neighborhood churches,
potlucks,  pulpits slowly filling with warranted women,
so I hedge my bets.  In Vatican City I bought a rosary,
pure white play pearls with gold links and left it
overnight to be blessed by the Pope. 


Karen Vande Bossche is a poet and short story writer who teaches middle school to students asking questions such as "Aren't you too old for a tattoo?" Some of her more recent work can be found in Damfino and Damselfly and is forthcoming in Sediment (October 2015) and Straight Forward Poetry (Winter 2015).