Storytime; We Crucified: Poems

Before we get to today's offering...

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Each month this column features new work by and/or for young clergy women. For more information about what we're looking for, click here.

And now, on to this month's feature...


They thought I was one of those teenage mothers who turned out all right.
But the county health department nurses didn’t know
that the young tornadoes in their waiting room
were only mine occasionally.

Both settled on my lap,
sister on one leg, brother on the other,
and I breathed unwashed blond hair
with every page of Berenstein Bears.

Home stayed home.
Hyper, Punch, and Kick took the afternoon off.
I was the Mama and Papa Bear hug that ends every story.
“Read us another one,”
tamed cubs chanted.

Occasionally, heaven visits earth for an hour.

The nurse told them how lucky they were to have a mom who reads to them.
“She’s not our mom!”
they yelled as they raced out.

But I could’ve been, wasn’t I?


We Crucified Him Again

The price of love last night was
MARC train fare.
But when it increased to include subway fare to the train station
we wouldn’t pay.
Then the deaf-mute was conning us.
Some sign language is universal.
Dying is a finger drawn across his throat
or not getting home to his insulin.
Shame on him for “running out.”
All those meds—is he really going to take the Metro?
Eh, druggie scam.

On Judgment Day
Christ will be a deaf black man
wearing a worn leather coat and a brand-new Baltimore Orioles baseball cap
one line in his face for each person who said no.
There will be no need for an interpreter
because I will know the judgment he pronounces on me:
I didn’t stand up to my friends.
He will turn away and I will fall silent, condemned
trying to remember how to sign my sorrow
for lacking a dollar thirty-five of love.


These are lovely, Abby.

Thanks, Abby. I'm diggin' these poems.

I was so excited to see your work on here! They are very powerful; they bring up very real emotions from similar experiences in my life. Glad to see Wesley's influence is still there :)

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