Jimmy Cavanaugh: Confessional

George Perreault

So I was waiting my turn, old enough didn’t need to
invent sins, I was mean to my sister or I lied twice
which would be the second lie, though that’s just
another logic problem: The next sentence is true,

and then: The first sentence is false.  And how
can you handle that stuff along with algebra and
what passes for history?   But anyway, there I was
kneeling, rehearsing my lines and – bang

door rips open, priest storms out, yanks this poor
kid right through the curtain, grabs his throat
and screams in his face: I just wanted to see
someone who would do something like that!

Then back in, slams the door and it’s quiet as ever
I heard, and one by one rest of us start slinking out,
thinking truth’s gonna get harder and harder.  Well
of course you want to ask that kid, then you don’t,

then he got himself shot up Viet Nam, so there’s never
a chance you’d get to the bottom of it, even if that kid
wanted to, which I don’t know – I mean there’s things
I don’t tell nobody – no priest, least of all God.


George PerreaultGeorge Perreault has served as a visiting writer in New Mexico, Montana, and Utah, and he has received awards for poetry in Nevada and Washington. He was a finalist for the Backwaters Prize, and his work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and selected for nine anthologies and dozens of journals. His fourth full-length collection, Bodark County, came out in Fall 2016.