Damaris of Athens

by Jane Mary Curran

Beautiful Landscape from Croatia, with a stone statue of a woman in the foreground.

When Athenians heard of
the resurrection of the dead,
some scoffed.

—Acts 17:32

Damaris peered into alleyways, stumbled along porticos,
her eyes enflamed by the hot light of stones,
cracked lips whispering
Phoebe Selene. My child of the Moon.
Selene.

Through a maze of heat she dragged the heavy earth of her body
to the Areopagus,
stood on the outcrop, a marble statue
veined in grief.

Word clouds, loud in debate, swirled around her.
From the blur, Damaris heard
resurrection of the dead.

It was the voice of a Pharisee assuring Athenians
that the Jewish god had raised a man from the dead.

She could not breathe.

A body no longer shrouded in myrrh.
A soul returned from the Underworld.
A child no longer alone in the earth.

Damaris raced to the Pharisee, grabbed his sleeve.

Tell me! Tell me, please!
I have a child. She died.
Can your god bring her back to me?

Jane Mary Curran
Jane Mary Curran lives in Asheville, North Carolina. She is retired from a college professorship in piano and a second career as a hospice chaplain and spiritual director. She is the author of Indiana Girl, Poems (2019), and Midwives of the Spirit: Thoughts on Caregiving (2002).

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