Sister Magdalena

entry picture

Sister Magdalena

 

alabaster skin

cold to the touch

pinched

            bloodless

            lips

 

eyes

the colour of duck eggs

piercing

            your

            soul

 

wisps

of taut hair

creeping

            from

            her scalp

 

cross on chain

hanging from

scrawny

            bird

            throat

 

rosary beads

fingered and fumbled

prayers

            for

            the wicked

 

black gown

of Christ

rustles

            down

            the aisle

 

the soft

shoe shuffle

of spider’s

            feet

            scuttling

 

whistling

in the air

the swish

            of

            the cane

 

Sister

Magdalena

pray

            for

            me

canecatholic schoolchildhoodcorporal punishmentnun

◄ Under August Skies

Above The Light Of The Morning Star ►

Comments

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Wolfgar Miere

Wed 5th Sep 2018 08:21

Ian,

I have a slight nun fetish which the penultimate verse of this poem has not helped to suppress. I fully acknowledge that incidents of abuse in religious institutions are no laughing matter, and that they have shattered and destroyed many lives in the past and unfortunately it still seems to continue.

I suspect this lyrical piece has a serious purpose, so forgive me that opening comment, I couldn't resist it.

Sometimes those we look to for forgiveness are in greater need of it than we are ourselves. I certainly require no unearthly forgiveness, though would hope for it from fellow human beings when required.

If I believed in the power or even relevance of prayer, I would utilise it to bring about some sense of true pastoral responsibility/accountability to those in religious institutions who seem to think they are somehow above the law.

Are you using "Magdalena" as a direct reference to the Magdalene laundries, or is it coincidental?

It is a somewhat ghostly yet worldly piece, which I appreciate.

David.

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raypool

Tue 4th Sep 2018 17:41

I love the simple honesty and drawn image Ian, it promotes deep thought and draws out much to be examined. The best poetry does this - allows room to breathe, and gently reminds us of the sort of special dedication this lady embodies. Judgments may follow, but we must respect the writing, whatever.


Ray

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