Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Wayback Machine

“Wayback Machine”

The photo on facebook

Was labeled as “Wayback Machine”

It was a group photo

Of the Choir at some

Ancient catholic school

I went to as a child.

Posted by Lou Gould.

The group of the choir

Is of children, were we

That really young or

Small as well?

Don’t remember a group photo

Of the Altar Boys ever being taken.

Ashame not to be able to see

Myself as so young and small

And wearing the best dress

Of White Cassock and

Red Cape, Gloves, starched Collar

And red silk bow. How Formal!

Standing on the main staircase

Of Saint Joan of Arc in

Philly is a revelation to me.

The staircase does not seem

As wide as memory would

Have me believe.

Atop many steps of many

Boys in Black Cassocks

And White Surpluses

Are the eighth graders

Attired in White Cassock

And Red Cape.

The Altar Boys also wore

White and red on

Special occasions. Easter,

Christmas, Bishop’s visit.

And the pastor used to

Whistle through his teeth

And he spoke and gave


And “Spongy”, Sister Sponsa Regis,

In charge of the altar boys.

Her favorite line to the Altar Boys

Who got too rowdy in the changing

Room was “You are convenient but

Not necessary” for the service

About to start. Silence. Dead

Silence. Got us every time.

The school is closed now

Designed by George Audsley,

A renaissance man by any

Standard. 11 Broadway,

St Joan of Arc and the

Wanamaker Organ. What

A mind!

Memory to refresh, reboot

Sometimes to see a final

Perspective. A lot of eyeglasses

On a lot of kids in a

Crowded picture.

Memories don’t remember

Sometimes until one sees

The facts, the photo, the past.


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