©Poems of R.F.Mueller- Other Times, Other Thoughts
WHEN I WAS FIFTEEN
Once, when I was fifteen and the world was new
I suffered the sermon and bore the choir,
Still my thoughts were ready to leap the pew
Or burn it with my new found fire,
And all this brought on by flashing knees,
Bright enough to scorch the priestly tomes
That strictly censure such fledgling debauchees
As might test what a thundering god condones.
Yet I built on the lewd distraction,
First seeing my self assured but still young,
Adventuring beyond mere tumefaction,
Then as middle aged, my world far flung.
But then, O then, stark time closed in,
And I saw myself becoming old
Cold terror beyond the fear of sin,
Of a story that even then was all but told.
While I was young I was obliged to attend church, but never was happy in religion. By fifteen my rebellion and irreverence were established, and by the time I was drafted into the army, I'd shucked off all practice or thought of it, except for purposes of courtesy. My imagination, of course, was always ready to enliven church attendance with what or with whom it afforded an opportunity, and females frequently filled the bill! I remember as yesterday the occasion of this brainstorm, occurring as it did in an afternoon church visit, likely at the "sacrament of confession", participation in which a strange momentum still bound me.