Who is on the plum tree?
I was that child
standing in the corner
with a chalky duster
wrapped about my thin, white, offensive shoulders.
The nun decided I had come to school “naked”
clothed as I was in summer dress,
with straps in place of sleeves.
I asked what naked meant,
as I stood in the shameful shadows of the grey school playground.
I was six and could not understand
the sin I had committed
the sin of wearing a special dress
the only one I possessed
given me by my mother
on that one occasion
she had time to dress me.
She had combed my hair
and sent me to St. Joseph’s
to learn something.
Copyright 2013 Niamh Clune