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ADELAIDE Independent Monthly Literary Magazine / Revista Literária Independente Mensal, New York / Lisboa, Online Edition  

 

 

 

A STATUE OF MARY

by William Miller

 

 

A Statue of Mary

In the courtyard,
in the dry fountain,
she stands on a concrete block
.
Rain-streaked, she is ten shades
of gray. Lichens turn brown
in the folds of her robe.

But she opens her arms
to a suff ering world,
s􀆟 ll welcomes the prayer
s
of the faithful, even here,
even in the ruins of a house
once fi lled with children

who learned to pray in Latin
as soon as they could talk.
That was before the Storm

closed the doors of churches
where many prayed, families,
widows and blind men.

That was before the bomb fell,
doubt rained down like acid rain,
beads cla􀆩 ered on stonefl oors
.
The ghost of a virgin, she smiles
sadly now, childless, as if someone
should pray for her.

 

 

Weaver’s Cave

We stopped there many times
but went inside only once,
an hour before sunset.

We barely spoke, my mother and I,
hated each other—
an unwanted son, a woman

who wanted to be somewhere,
someone else. That day
was diff erent, the rocks,

the mouth, drew us both,
as if there were a secret,
a treasure hidden

in the wet darkness.
We stooped, slipped, almost
fell to our knees,

smelled the damp and heard
the steady drip from
the low ceiling,

a bat’s wings flutter.
She lost her nerve—said it
was dangerous—we had

to be home before dark.
But I saw a light, faint orange
on the other side,

knew I had to reach it
if I was ever going to be safe
in my own skin,

safe from her. I tore
my pants and broke a tooth,
just to be alone.

 

About the Author:

William Miller's seventh collection of poetry, The Crow Flew Between Us, was published by Kelsay Books in the fall of 2018.  His poems have apeared in The American Poetry review, The Penn Review, Shenandoah, Praire Schooner and West Branch.  He lives and writes in the French Quarter pf New Orleans.

 

 

 

 

 

     
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