Lasting Effects Of A Catholic Boyhood

The bathroom of our rented bungalow
was laid with dark pink Italian tile,
each trimmed with lavender, bordered
all around with alternating squares;
yellow, blue, occasional red,
like arched Cathedral mosaics.

It boasted a naked door at the south end,
comprised of rippled glass and clear veiws.
The sun spilled it's warmth through the
panes bright and unencumbered until well
past noon; and the tiles would sweat their
sympathy for the summer day.

An ancient tub with balled claw feet
crouched huge and gleaming opposite the
door, it supported a rack of circular brass,
and from it hung a curtain shiny mesh.
When the afternoon sun gave it face,
it glowed as if gilded.

On the last morning of our rented summer,
I happened past the door, just as she stood
from a bath. Her body was clouded by steam
that rose in smoky tendrils and curled
around the room like incense at mass.

She raised her arms to part the curtain,
a slender span of sable wings, her head haloed
by dripping ringlets; and when the gilding rays
found the sparkling crown, She became the
Angel Of Annunciation, bearer of Blessed Bliss,
stained glass seraphim of my youth.

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