25 April 2007 | Vol. 7, No. 1

Daily Madonna

Don't forget to do your daily Madonna.

Wake up and pat your womb before the light

gets in your window; you don't know what

the day will have in store.

You could be sweeping the stairwell, unaware

all this time that discipline was discipline.

You didn't know that using turnips

would win you favor, that saving rainwater

in the barrel would make anyone happy.

Someone likes it when you take the wilted stems to the heap

and churn them in. Someone likes it when you're patient

with bumblebee-weed, when you know that purslane is purslane,

and good to eat, and even when you let the grass

grow longer than it should.

Someone saw you carry the feathers of the jay the cat killed

and lay them on the fencepost, in hopes

another bird would use them for a nest, saw you smile

before you threw the gathered walnut hulls

into the woods, instead of weeping.

About the author:

Mary Walker Graham is a bartender and a cofounder of Rope-a-Dope Collaborative, a printing co-op in South Boston, Massachusetts. Her work has also appeared in Poetry, Poetry Daily, and The Alembic.

For further reading:

See the complete list of work by Mary Walker Graham at 42opus. Browse the contents of 42opus Vol. 7, No. 1, where "Daily Madonna" ran on April 25, 2007. List other work with these same labels: poetry.

42opus is an online magazine of the literary arts.

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