Terry Collett

Gold Star - 23,291 Points (13/12/1947 / LONDON)

Infringement Of The Rules - Poem by Terry Collett

Any infringement of the rules
Or minor sin puts her head in
A spin, puts her soul just over
The edge, lingering there in mid
Air waiting for some dark demon
To snatch. Sister Angela rubs sins
From the black beads, utters long
Prayers from the tongue. She firmly
Wrestles with her demons in the bed,
In the cloisters, out there in the dark
Corners of the world, inside her head.
Her father used to say, your demons
Know you better than you do yourself;
They know your pitfalls, your small
Faults, your tiny imperfections that
Cling to your soul like dark bruises on
Fruit. Then he’d beat her black and blue
And leave her in her room to brood and
Suck in the emptiness of thick dark space.
She kisses the black beads as once she
Kissed that Boyle boy behind the bike
Sheds there, not from lust or love, but
For an unholy dare. The knees ache;
The back is stiff, the incense fills her nose
And head. Pray for us now, she mutters,
Her black serge habit tight about her form,
Pushing out her breath, and at the hour of
Our death. Her father lingers in his cancer
Bed; her mother rots in her grave where her
Father drove her with his drunken words
And fisted hands on frail skin. Sister Angela
Washes with her fierce scrubs any small
Infringements of the rules or minor sin,
Hearing her father’s words harsh within.

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, December 22, 2011

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