Nativity Scene

by Joann Boswell

Young woman, boo-boo healer,
songwriter, wonderful comforter,
mighty good, everlasting Mama,
peasant of peace,
filled with grace and grit

It is said that you are pure
insinuating that (shhhh!)
s – e – x is inherently evil
that the epitome of innocence lies
within your immaculate womb
where no semen dare enter

Do I become
valueless if it turns out you were
raped? As so many are
objects to be used
vessels to be filled
children to be hushed

Was I born into nothing, to unknown
parents, next to manure,
making her unclean because she gave
birth? For female blood is unholy,
but because her knees opened
only for a baby, not for a man,
I am holy?

Does my life’s work diminish if it turns out
she got a bit freaky before
the ring-ring?
So what if I was
illegitimate? Would that invalidate
my existence, my love, my hope?
The bastard who healed the world
reframed to keep ladies legs shut?


Joann Boswell
Joann Renee Boswell is a teacher, mother, photographer and poet currently living in Camas, WA with her partner and three children. Before having children, Joann taught and directed high school theatre in Washington state. Joann loves rainy days filled with coffee, books, handholding, moody music and sci-fi shows. Some places she’s been published include VoiceCatcher, Western Friend, The Martian Chronicle, otoliths and Mothers Always Write. Her first book of poetry, Cosmic Pockets, is expected May 2020 through Fernwood Press. You can read more at


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