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by R.S. Gwynn
Good Catholic girl, she didn’t mind the cleaning.
All of her household chores, at first, were small
And hardly labors one could find demeaning.
One’s duty was one’s refuge, after all.
And if she had her doubts at certain moments
And once confessed them to the Father, she
Was instantly referred to texts in Romans
And Peter’s First Epistle, chapter III.
Years passed. More sinful every day, the Seven
Breakfasted,grabbed their pitchforks, donned their horns
And sped to contravene the hopes of heaven,
Sowing the neighbors’ lawns with tares and thorns.
She set to work. Pride’s hundred looking-glasses
Ogled her dimly, smeared with prints of lips;
Lust’s magazines lay strewn–bare T’s and asses
And flyers for “devices”–chains, cuffs, whips.
Gluttony’s empties covered half the table,
Mingling with Avarice’s cards and chips,
And she’d been told to sew a Bill Blass label
In the green blazer Envy’d bought at Gyp’s.
She knelt to the cold master bathroom floor as
If a petitioner before the Pope,
Retrieving several pairs of Sloth’s soiled drawers,
A sweat-sock and a cake of hairy soap.
Then, as she wiped the Windex from the mirror,
She noticed, and the vision made her cry,
How much she’d grayed and paled, and how much clearer
Festered the bruise of Wrath beneath her eye.
“No poisoned apple needed for this Princess,”
She murmured, making X’s with her thumb.
A car door slammed, bringing her to her senses:
Ho-hum. Ho-hum. It’s home from work we come.
And she was out the window in a second,
In time to see a Handsome Prince, of course,
Who, spying her distressed condition, beckoned
For her to mount (What else?) his snow-white horse.
Impeccably he spoke. His smile was glowing.
So debonair! So charming! And so Male.
She took one step, reversed, and without slowing
Beat it to St. Anne’s where she took the veil.
Make each moment count double,