By Pat Grant

May is a beautiful month, and in years gone by my father always took me down to Patrick Street in Cork to watch the children who had just made their Holy Communion. They serenely walked in a procession on the Sunday evening after their big day, small hands joined in prayer as they sang the lovely hymns which they had practised for their first Holy Communion. They also wore their Communion dresses and veils.  

I could almost smell the newness of their gorgeous clothes and couldn’t wait for my seventh birthday. Then I too would make my communion and wear a white dress and veil and sign the hymns.

My time came at last when I was seven years old. My mother bought the white shoes early in the year.  
She intended to get my clothes gradually so she wouldn’t have a big expense all at once.  

She put the shoes in their box under the bed, and whenever she didn’t want me in the kitchen I would go upstairs, take them out of the box and try them on. Then I would slowly walk up and down with my hands joined, practising for the May procession. I just couldn’t resist those lovely shoes.  

One night I went to the bedroom window and waved them out hoping someone passing would admire them. One of them dropped out of my hands and fell out on the street down below. I didn’t know what to do as I had been warned to go to bed and I was afraid to go downstairs again. So I put the single shoe back in the box again shoved it in deep under the bed and never told anyone.

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