i remember:

confirmation, april twenty-fourth.

it was hot and the chair propping a door open

could not have been less helpful.

(i don't want to be here.)

the priest swung the incense burner, glittering gold,

and let the smoke rise.

two people fainted. more nearly did.

(i don't want to be here.)

it was a useless and pretentious ceremony,

forcing three pews of almost-teenagers to stand

in red gowns overtop of formal wear.

(i don't want to be here.)

my catholic family had been making such a fuss about it.

i wasn't convinced.

i did service hours in the parish library and

picked a saint's name to take on,

but it wasn't for me or my faith.

(i don't want to be here.)

i caught a glimpse of my family across the church.

i had no idea who was going to be there.

relatives who lived more than an hour away were there,

and they had brought my grandpa, ninety-one then.

they were looking back at me.

(i don't want to be here.)

they were there for me.

no one else. me.

it wasn't my faith in god that nearly

brought me to tears that day.

(i don't want to be here.)

(they do.)