Nine First Fridays · Ed Meek

When I was thirteen I made
the nine First Fridays. My mother
coaxed me out of bed before school
with the promise of eternal life.
We braved the dark cold
of New England winter
for 7 am Mass at St. Agatha’s.

There we waltzed station to station
following the trail of Jesus
who bore the heavy wooden cross
the Romans would nail him to
before he rose triumphant to heaven.
I was already plagued like St. Peter
by doubt. My mother kept me
close in hand. An Irish Catholic
who loved to gamble —
Bingo every Monday,
chances are she’d find
the gates unlocked. I was
another story. We were both
hedging our bets.

Ed Meek has published in The Sun, The Paris Review, Plume, etc. His most recent book of poetry is Spy Pond. Luck, a collection of stories came out in 2017.