Issue 1.1 – Poetry

Let us pausefor a moment and pray. (12)


Our Sister, Mary Magdalene


In the Age of Aquarius, girls dumped

ratted beehives and bouffants for hair,


long, beautiful hair, ditched their mother’s

dresses for go-go boots and minis,


but at steepled doors, old men stood

guard like Cerberus, eyes bulging,


yardsticks in hand measuring skin

above the boot, a modest skirt


a girl’s price of prayer.  Bare knees,

forbidden fruits, a Siren’s call,


Adam’s fall from grace; the men

said turn away the girl, save the boy;


better he not see her knobby apples

than be tempted with the burn of their rash.


Those of us too young for the yardstick

watched our older sisters shamed


and shared their blame for the wet dark place

of our sex, for hips of white bone


that framed the purse of eggs we carried

like coins, one bag folded into another,


its clasp warmed by steps we took,

too easily opened, and we, bloodied,


the sole bearers of Eve’s curse when it did,

we our brothers’ keepers, we their ribs,


always the Mary Magdalene, sought with hard

breaths under the moon, denied in the sun,


once pardoned but never forgiven, her name,

ours, soiled and spit like devil’s venom.


JanetTree1Janet Reed is a recent winner in Common Ground Review’s 2017 poetry contest.  She is a 2016 Pushcart Prize nominee whose work has been published or is forthcoming in Chiron Review, Tipton Poetry Journal, Avalon Poetry Journal, I-70 Review and many others.  She teaches writing and literature for Crowder College in Missouri, and earned her graduate degree in English, Literature emphasis from Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Kansas.



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