Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Gentile Daughter*

She whispers in a foreign tongue
and crawls the base of the garden gate
like a cornered bitch, at home among
the stench and stone. To congregate

she crawls over the garden gate
to dance naked on the road
tapping stench and stone to congregate
with Satanic hosts, as if she owes

a naked dance on the road
to unclean spirits and other
Satanic hosts, unaware she owes
nothing, not soul, nor mind. Her mother

for unclean spirits, another
priest she prays to find
to free the soul, the mind, the mother,
finished with remedies so unkind.

This priest, she prays to find,
is a Jew from Galilee.
She’s finished with remedies, the kind
of fire and flogs, amulet and poison tea.

She finds the Jew from Galilee,
who walks on, ignores her plea, her ache,
offers not even fire or flog, amulet or poison tea.
He shuns the dog, for children’s sake

and walks on, ignores her plea, her ache
“Just one crumb,” she begs, head hung,
“for dogs shunned for children’s sake,”
she whispers in a foreign tongue.

* See Matthew 15: 21-28 as reference.
(The form of this poem is Pantoum)

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