We met on Tuesdays after school
with Sister Mary Agnes,
the two Mary Lous, Julie, Kay and me
to learn about being nuns.
The convent sounded good;
a room of my own, a single bed,
time to think and pray, no fighting
over what we'd watch-Bonanza versus Dragnet,
or who would get the couch.
I dug those crazy nun outfits, and hated hand-me-downs
with too long sleeves and too tight waists.
I'd take the smell of polished wood and incense
over burnt grilled cheese and sour milk.
I'd have a good job, teaching kids
and all the chalk I'd want,
long, unbroken pieces that echoed off the board,
all eyes on me as I'd tap directions,
conducting my classroom all day.
People, I'd begin, today we're talking about...
whatever I want to !
Nuns got great rosaries with fancy beads
and lots of gifts at Christmas.
And the solitude of celibacy sounded pretty good,
better than worrying about French kissing
like my sister, better than pining for men,
like mom, whose men left anyway.
— Paula Sergi
from Family Business. Finishing Line Press
Most people are other people.
Their thoughts are
someone else's opinions,
their lives a mimicry,
their passions a quotation.
~ Oscar Wilde