Gramatan 5 & 10
Lynne McEniry

1.
Poppy said that First Holy Communion
made a certain mark on me
if I could receive the Body of Christ
I could work the cash register in his
5 & 10 cent store

It was a clunky old thing     thick wooden 
drawer    compartments 
for each kind of bill     each kind of coin

2.
Be it this day or days later she knows
death is near

but she chooses not to let her
her children, grandchildren know

instead she makes them laugh

a few breaths from death and choosing not
to let us know what now we know she knew

3.
First I saw the deer
dart toward me from my perch
on the back of the bike

then I saw the deer
lying close by where I lay
both of us silent, both of us still

then I heard the deer
bleating, bleating
but it was a different deer

it was the mother deer
standing over her fawn
bleating, bleating

I crawled away from the deer 
made the mother deer dash    we left
the fawn    alone silent    alone still

4.
My father in the first pew all eyes
on him, he casts his eyes     down

he will not see his wife draped
in the white of her new life

he will not see her incensed
for her journey home

he will not see the grieving 
touch her casket with fingers   with tears

he raises them only
when the congregation sings

5.
We saw the whales together

spouts first

then sleek and massive humps
still then gleaming baleen plates
The Dolphin Fleet our chapel, its bow our altar
screeching seagulls, splashing flukes our worship hymns

6.
Poppy said that First Holy Communion
made a certain mark on me
Poppy and the cash register both
long gone

they leave me with a sacramental stain


Lynne McEniry has poems and reviews published in 5 AM, Adanna, The Stillwater Review, Paterson Literary Review, The Lake Rises Anthology, and others. Her poems have won Honorable Mention for the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Award and have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Lynne curates readings and workshops, including those in conversation with visual arts. She is a regular guest editor for Adanna Literary Journal for which she edited several special issues including, “Hurricane Sandy: Students Speak Out” and “How Women Grieve.” Lynne teaches writing and is the director of the Academic Success Center at the College of Saint Elizabeth in Morristown, NJ. She earned her MFA in Poetry at Drew University.

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