The Woman Apostle

woman apostle

 

They found the bones of her gospel

in a clay urn, pieced together

from torn pages of papyrus. Her story

terraced in words forming

a maze of womanhood. Enter

 

and find a pillar of wood,

rope bridling the unlit bramble

and a maiden about to burn

for preaching abstinence.

 

Wander further and see

the same girl corned by beasts,

wolf and hound about to tear

her body shadowless

for rebuffing the gentry.

 

But in each case, Divine

intervention. Lighting broke

through the broad lintel of clouds

splintering timber and bracken. Her wounds

washed clean by the rain.

 

Howl and bark snuffed to the soft

licking of her hand. Both creatures

lowered on their limbs, ready to guard

their chaste mistress.

 

Go deeper and seek the cave

where she’s retreated — cultivating

herbs and healing. Her figure veiled in linen,

a white lamp illuminating the hollow

 

while young men hired by physicians

(who lost their patients to her craft)

come to rape. Stones tumble

closing the entrance to the cave

and a passage opens for her escape

elsewhere. But the writings never tell you

 

about the true elsewhere. The one only she

could feel and remember. Like the cracks

in this puzzled parchment, there was the void

rupturing into regrets she held silent, sorrowful

 

for never letting her hands weave

swaddling cloth and rub a womb

swollen with child,

 

for never admitting

she was too feminine to bear

the stoniness

of staying pure.

3 comments

  1. Two sides of the same story, the second because of the first. They wouldn’t accept her, couldn’t destroy her, so they rejected her and in doing so denied her any kind of a normal life. Well written.

    Like

  2. Dear Craig and Michael

    Thank you both very much for reading and commenting on my poem~! I deeply appreciate your interest in this piece.

    My Best to you both,
    Wendy

    Like

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