POEM: Punk Virgin Mary

(Originally published on Tumblr, inspired by a dream recounted by answersfromvanaheim.)

Punk Virgin Mary

She was an unwed mother, you know,

No better than she should be, hanging

Round on street corners, smoking, laughing,

Making eyes at the Roman soldiers who sometimes

Passed through the village, marching

To conquer somewhere else, since

They’d done Galilee already. An unwed mother,

And people pitied Joseph for taking

Damaged goods, sloppy seconds;

They sneered behind his back when

He set his jaw and said, “My firstborn

Is a child of God.” Child of some dirty

Soldier, more like, a Greek or Egyptian,

Uncircumcised, unclean. She wouldn’t even

Stay home, kept following her mad boy

Around the countryside, listening to him

Spout strange fables and pretend

to be a rabbi. Some rabbi him, some

Child of God, executed for a common criminal.

Good riddance to bad rubbish.


Little boys like to believe that Mommy

Loves no one else the way she loves them,

Not even Daddy, but long before a little boy

Was born or Daddy courted Mommy, Mommy

Was hanging out on streetcorners, making eyes

At soldiers, and who knows, who knows

What she did so long ago, before she got her halo?

The Virgin Mother lights a cigarette out behind

The heavenly palace and takes a deep drag.

She’ll never tell.


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