Judgment

Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

Woodside, NY (1974)

 

Advertisement

Contentment is a wet chest in December

Because when the breeze rushes off

The cars and onto the sidewalk

And through my coat and through

The little boxes of light in my bathing suit

Into the bare little dip between my breasts

I know I won’t have to talk to anyone.

 

Of course, what I hope is that

I do not see anyone at all.

That is, Anyone I know. Anyone who knows

who gave me the bowling ball in my belly

that kept me from being one of those

car drivers on the road pushing the wind,

Anyone who knows I am a loser

of husbands.

Anyone who knows what the little patch

of jet black hair looked like as I laid

my son in the space between my breasts

on the walk home from the grocery store

past these same brick apartments,

Anyone who knows I’m not coming to tea

and so invites me for something to say,

Anyone who knows I let my daughter run

wild like an Indian, cut her hair short

and jump from garage roof to garage roof,

Anyone who knows I let her play basketball,

and skip her bath, and skin her knees.

Anyone who knows I don’t want her to be like me.

Anyone who knows how to say the rosary

and scoffs at my name being Mary.

 

But today, with my hair joined in little Vs

From where the pool water tried to run away

And with my muscles spent like single dollar bills

Have been pulled through each tendon

Enough times to leave them raw and wobbly

And with the little patch of bare and wet on my chest,

I have an excuse to cut the conversation

short.

Anyone who knows how to say the rosary / and scoffs at my name being Mary.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

Pope Francis speaks from the Vatican as he addresses Canadian youths in a video message that was included in a Salt and Light Television program on Oct. 22 (CNS photo/courtesy Holy See Press Office).
“The world, the church, are in need of courageous young people, who are not cowed in the face of difficulties," the pope said.
Michael J. O’LoughlinOctober 23, 2017
Men walk near destroyed buildings as thousands of Somalis gathered to pray at the site of the country's deadliest attack and to mourn hundreds of victims at the site of the attack in Mogadishu, Somalia, on Oct. 20. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)
Mogadishu was rocked to its core on Oct. 14 by a truck bombing that left 358 dead and hundreds wounded. The missing are still being sifted for among the scorched rubble.
Kevin ClarkeOctober 23, 2017
Pope Francis issues public correction to Cardinal Robert Sarah on who has final say over liturgical translations.
Gerard O'ConnellOctober 22, 2017
It is astonishing to think that God would choose to enter the world this way: as a fragile newborn who could not even hold up his own head without help.
Ginny Kubitz MoyerOctober 20, 2017