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Saturday Afternoon Confession

"Her silence was our suffering."

Published onMar 07, 2024
Saturday Afternoon Confession

Photo by cottonbro studio:

There had been a chill in the house for days, I don’t remember why. Some disappointment, I suppose, some bitter unhappiness. We were small kids. Her silence was our suffering. I remember the Saturday afternoon. I saw her come out of the house into the brilliant sun, dressed up. I felt proud of her when she dressed up. She had a kind of look about her that I admired. Still, she did not speak, to Dad or to us, her children. She got into the car and drove off. She came back a different person, a different wife, a different mother. She spoke, she smiled –– it was unfair of course –– her expectation of our gratitude, our compliance. We were compliant with great relief. We were kids. Nothing was spoken. We went back to our small lives, and were grateful. Dad did not comment … it was about confession. She had gone off to Saturday afternoon confession. She had knelt in the wooden box and told the priest her troubles, confessed her sins against her family. That meant she did not have to apologise or explain. She was forgiven. And now we were all to be released, expected to be thankful. That’s what a Saturday afternoon confession did for a distressed family, made it possible for us to face each other again across an evening meal.

Lynda Wilde is a Canadian writer/photographer living between the cities of Kingston, Ontario, Canada, and Oaxaca de Juárez, Mexico. Her poetry has been published  in Willawa Journal, El Portal (UE New Mex), SAR (San Antonio Review), DASH (USCF),  Filling Station, Freefall,  and her prose in Guernica Edition’s 2022 Anthology of Canadian Flash Fiction Writers, ‘This Will Only Take a Minute.”


Beautiful text, thank you. Flowers to Belgium