A blessing or a curse

by Mary Barbara Walsh

Wave breaking over a long dock, in sepia tones

Called Mary of Magdala
I was possessed by seven demons.
They subdued me,
trampled my body, invaded my soul.

Held me down
used me
for their will,
at their whim.

No, No, no please.
Leave my body be
for me.
Let. Me. Be.
Please.

My broken, polluted body
no longer my own,
I carried their odor.
I bore their curse.

Called Mary of Nazareth,
my savior, shared my name,
shared my pain.
Washed my feet, let me cry.

Took my hand, held me tight.
A virgin and a mother,
now my sister,
she too begged to be left.

No, No, no please.
Leave my body be
for me.
Let. Me. Be.
Please.

She too,
given a choice in the absence of choice,
responded
“Let it be as you have said.”

We two,
thrust into womanhood with a blessing or a curse,
vessels
their will made flesh.

Mary Barbara Walsh
Mary Barbara Walsh is a Professor of Political Science at Elmhurst University where she teaches courses in political thought, feminist philosophy, and political justice. Her research focuses on liberal political philosophy, feminist philosophy, and political civility.

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