Magdalene waits in the passage
for Mary to come. Other girls pass
by hurrying on to the next lesson.
Mary comes along swinging her
satchel over her shoulder, cursing.
If that old fart’s teaching next term
I’m off to join the convent and be
a fucking nun, she says, looking back
along the passage, her face flustered,
her hair in her eyes. Magdalene says,
what up? Has old Murphy had a go
at you again? Mary sighs, moves along
the passage and Magdalene follows,
her eyes moving over Mary’s swaying
hips, taking in her thighs outlined by
her school skirt. Old Murphy’s long
overdue to retire, Mary says, she should
be in the graveyard of St Luke’s with
dog’s shite on her tombstone. She and
Magdalene pause by the girl’s toilets,
then enter in, making sure there’s no
one in there, before they quickly and
greedily kiss. They part and stand back
staring at each other. I needed that,
Magdalene says, all through R.E. I’ve
thought of it, despite Fr Gragin going
on about the Blessed Trinity. Mary says,
I’d have done the same if the old fart
hadn’t been on about the Civil War and
what do I care? Mary Moran, says she,
will you stop chewing gum and sit on
four legs of the chair. I think she was
after to giving me the ruler across my
palms, instead she gave me 500 lines
on how to sit on a chair and listen.
They move to the mirror and attend to
their hair and faces. Far off a bell rings.
They look at their reflections in the mirror.
They look at each other, then and touch
hands and lips and part, one to double
maths, the other to boring craft and art.