by Catherine Daly

It's a small step from stanza to stage. After leaping,
the room is converted, remade, no longer plain. It wasn't a stage.
It was a gym floor.

It was an unraked alcove five feet above
red rubber bombardment ball storage.

I waited in the baby cry room

my little sister had been held in during mass.
St. Mary's built the gym, then the church.

My mom taught Sunday school in the room above
and let me come as long as I was quiet.

I wore a used bridal gown from my Mom's store,
entered where the children were sleeping,
and my hoop skirt knocked over the flower flats with a bang.

I waited on the Lourdes' gym stage
and entered the court's three point zone
with the wrong lines.

They wouldn't give me a fairy wand. I used my hands.

While I waited in St. Thomas' de-sanctified sacristy for a cue
my fourth grade teacher walked past.
I always knew you'd amount to something, she said.

At my old school, I was crammed into an airless closet.
The screaming kids threw food at the wicked witch and me.
They stomped on my train to try to trip me.

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