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  • Mandulee Mendis

through My Fault


when

you yelled your silent psalm

when

we could not make it

to Regimental Day

all I could think of was

a Monday after a Sunday

when

we had not gone to Church.


the polished pews

and your wooden clock’s hand

the Altar

with your crystals grand

and a hymn

with your Regimental Band.


It all came back, bleeding;


and I sat

on a high-arched chair

in the Officers’ Mess,

of myself

I was feeling less

as if

I was kneeling.


Repented

I did confess

to Almighty God

and to you, all my brothers and sisters

that I had sinned

through My Fault,

through My Fault,

through My Most Grievous Fault.

You

rang Church Bells in my head.


Your wife’s astounded stare

at my linen saree white;

Have I worn the wrong colours

to a glamorous Mess Night?

Like my expensive dress

was not quite bright

enough

one Christmas night.


You ushered me to a table red

‘Reserved for Army Wives’ it said

the label by the roses red

said Care of Captain Dias

and I remembered

the nuns:

slaving away

with faith and love

within the cloister line

but who

with noble famous Priests

were given the privilege to dine,

but never to hold

the Eucharist

over the chalice of wine.