Darkly curved the convent corridors in chocolate brown,
the squeak of plimsolls on lino,
the scent of incense from the chapel.
Jesus nailed above my head.
Filing crocodile fashion to the market town,
feeling a fool in white lace gloves and unholy guilt.
Everything neatly arranged in rows;
blazers, boaters, bicycles, girls.
Nuns sliding through shadows deeper than dark
and the carnal, bloody smells from the bacon factory
on Eau-De-Cologne Street,
mingled with the scent of menstruation.
Protected by the Holy Grotto
we swigged sweet cider and puffed on dog-ends,
lurking with intent behind Our Lady’s secret smile,
spirals of smoke drifting
from beneath her blue plaster skirts,
a miracle of sorts.
And at supper Dymphna McGuire said
she would gladly walk backwards and barefoot
to the end of the Universe
for a date with Ringo.
Which prompted me to explain my theory
on the edge of space
using greengage jelly.
Infinity is a bugger to unscramble
before double Geography,
on a Thursday.