Though I have spoken

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Poetic Responses to Psalms and Scripture

Though I have spoken once,

    I will not do so again;

though twice, I will do so no more.

Job 40:3-5


My mouth wanders like a circus performer

town to town

hawking the sideshow,

sullen dancing girls.


I moan:

my children keep growing!

No babies left for me

to coddle, spoon-feed, bathe.


I hate myself

for mentioning my husband’s fat.


When adolescent, I spilled

each soft detail of love affairs—

her lips, his eyes—

and too much of my body,


things I would never

want you to know now.


My children rustle in their beds

plump as pillows,

and somewhere

South of here, a hungry mother

scoops cornmeal with a piece of chipped cup

into the mouth of her listless child.


Dear Friend, help me!

I pull my hand up to my face

and press my mouth shut.

There is so much


I mustn't say.



-- By:  Ms. Karen Jessee, OP - - a member of the Dominican Laity, St. Mary Magdelene Group in Raleigh, NC.  She writes and teaches, living with her husband and children near Chapel Hill, North Carolina.


Face to Face Archive

Please click on a Title below for Karen's "Prayer Poems":
(The newest ones are listed first.)

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