Our Lady of Dark Mysteries by Jill Crammond

The old black dog knows to turn around three times, even when all you say is lie. O Mother of rapt attention. O Mistress of Bones and Trust. How we dig holes and have nothing to fill them with. How the nuts we gather and bury are forgotten, and still we grow whole forests. This is blind trust. This is separated at birth, still holding hands. Vows not yet written, cells unmindful of the dangers of splitting. Trust that the skin holds. Trust that the skeleton will not burst into flames. Spontaneous combustion as death threat, as daydream, as champagne toast at midnight. Mary didn’t name the beast, but she will brush his dusty fur and read with care the ancient story between his ribs. If you are honest with your suffering, you will wake to find a waterfall at the base of your bed, a sooty face hovering before you, a clean rag to wipe away the darkness.

Jill Crammond is an upstate NY poet, teacher, and artist, with work appearing in Mother Mary Come to Me Anthology, Fiolet & Wing, and tinderbox.

Photo by Bianca Berg

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