KNOWING MARTHA 1963

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: October 10, 2016

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Submitted: October 10, 2016

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Do I know Martha?
Sister Ruth said,
of course I do,
Father, why did
you ask?

Father Bede
looked at the nun:
she came to me
in church
and asked me
a number of questions
about Our Lord
and how tall he was
and what colour eyes
and hair he had,
the priest said.

What's so odd
about that?
She said.

Well she also
asked me
that if a boy
should ask her
about having...
he couldn't get
the word out,
not with
the good sister
standing there.

Sister Ruth eyed him:
sex? She said.

Yes, that's
that word,
if a boy
asked her
should she
tell him to...
he fumbled
for the word
Martha had said,
but instead said:
go away,
and I was so
flummoxed
that I said yes,
the priest said,
reddening,
looking at his hands,
not the nun.

Sounds like Martha,
I supposed she said
something less pure?
The nun said.

The priest nodded:
is she all right?
He said.

Well she's not quite
the ticket,
but she's harmless,
the nun said.

She wants
to be a nun?
He said.

So she does,
Sister Ruth said,
but she's as much
chance of that
as me being
Miss World,
the nun said
smiling.

But she seems
so keen on being
a Bride of Christ
is there no chance?
Father Bede said.

The bishop wouldn't
have her in
this congregation
but who knows
elsewhere they might,
the nun said,
eyeing the young priest
noting his
reddening features
and his fine head
of hair,
then said:
how long are you
here as curate?

He looked at her:
don't know,
until the bishop
moves me on,
Father Bede said.

If you see
Martha again
tell her she'd make
a good nun,
I guess we must not
dissuade her
from a possible
God's calling.

He nodded
and looking out
from the convent
doorway,
he noticed
rain falling.


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