Wise Poets – Jacinta V White – Church Mothers

Jacinta V White

women in white dresses surround
me after service like absent mothers
longing for baby’s return to their breasts
 
             rejoicing—prayers for a daughter’s return are answered
             while they wait in line to tell me
             they knew my folks, and how they knew me
 
young, in pigtails and knee-highs, they
remind me when I was not yet full
of the life I now hold
 
             behind my eyes
             pain taking up space
             I thought no one could see
 
women, gray curls spiraling from beneath
their cloth hats, twist both my arms in theirs
take her to the altar one says to the other
 
             I am caught up in their strength
             speechless and well-taught to not
             resist this kind of salvation
 
we fall to our knees
caught by a purple, velvet cloud
and wooden rails
 
             blood and water sprinkled on my forehead
             forgive they firmly whisper
             their breath on each of my cheeks
 
say you forgive


Señor Tao’s Related Diary Entry


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